I can’t speak for the rest of the city, but Make Music NY was a rousing success in Williamsburg, making for one of those days where you’re really happy you live in New York. I knew that there was going to be a stage set up at North 7th and Bedford where Cheeseburger, Oxford Collapse, and Best Fwends were going to play, but had no idea that there were bands of every size and shape playing on every block of Bedford Avenue between the bridge and McCarren Park. Walking down the street, the sounds of funk, hip hop, jazz, Bling Kong clashed into each other — even if you didn’t like some of the music it was just inspiring to see it all happening in front of you, right on the street.
As for the main event, I missed Best Fwends as I was in the Greenpoint Tavern trying to loosen up for Cheeseburger, who the GPT unwinding as well. As we sipped from 32oz styrofoam cups, the skies outside darkened and the wind whipped up. Would the rain hold off? If not would it stop them?
Lighting could be seen somewhere over the East River as Cheeseburger took the stage around 8pm which seemed appropriate backdrop to their down-n-dirty rawk. I hadn’t seen them since they added a second guitarist (still no bassist, which I like) which filled out their sound a bit. They quite as wild as they were a few years ago, but they make up for it with, you know, their ability to play. But it’s singer Joe Bradley who’s wild persona and wail (not unlike Iggy or Dave Vanian) is the real appeal for me. That and Christy Karacas’ monster riffs. And Luke Crotty‘s awesome drumming. OK, it’s the whole package I guess. Joe was throwing piñatas around and all of a sudden candy was raining down on everyone.
Then we got the real thing. Wind was blowing the rain sideways, the lightning got closer, but Cheeseburger kept playing. I think they would’ve kept playing too but they cut the power and everybody seemed to have the same idea — immediately run back to the GPT. Nearly impossible to move, let alone get a beer there, I opted to head to Matamoros (where I assume they bought the piñatas) for some tacos and headed home.
Did Oxford Collapse play?
Cheeseburger were one of 500 bands and artists who performed live on the streets of the Five Boroughs for Make Music NY. I can’t wait for next year. Here’s a video of some of the action (including a bit on Bedford) done by Streetfilms: