Over the past year, the South Street Seaport has been aiming to reinvent itself from a mall near boats into an urban fun zone. In the summer, they turned a shipping container into a bar, screened family-friendly films on an astroturf lawn, and had bands perform on an outdoor stage. With the weather now in the 20s, it was only fitting that they open a pop-up indoor music venue to continue the party. If you've ever wondered what a concert inside an upside-down bounce castle would be like, check out the Front Row Cube. The inflatable cuboid with color-changing walls was a heated respite from the bitter breeze off the East River, but unfortunately, it attracted more chattering bargoers than music fans. The talking bounced off the Cube's high ceiling, providing some stiff competition for the band. Thankfully, Queens' premier neo-classic rock act, Hollis Brown, brought more than their A game, playing their longest concert, chock full of old favorites, covers from Otis Redding to the Rolling Stones, and brand new songs.
I was truly surprised that the audience made enough of an effort to request an encore, but I was even more surprised by the song choice. Montali said they'd be doing a "rock and roll staple," so I readied myself for "Rockin' in the Free World," which they've performed in the past. When they catapulted into the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog," I smiled that I'd stuck it out despite my surroundings. Hollis Brown weren't going to let a disrespectful crowd affect their performance, and that, my friends, is what truly takes confidence.
HOLLIS BROWN - 02.08.14 - FRONT ROW CUBE (1 hour, 49 minutes)
SET -Highway One / Ride on the Train / Gypsy Black Cat / Faith & Love / Train Round the Bend / When the Weather's Warm / Outlaw Blues / Down on Your Luck / If It Ain't Me / Green River / Jam* > Doghouse Blues / Cool It Down / Hey Baby / That's How Strong My Love Is / Carolina, Carolina / Nothing & the Famous No One / Siempre Mi Amor* / Sweet Jane / On the Beach / Lonesome Cowboy Bill / Nightfall / No Expectations / Wait for Me, Virginia
I Wanna Be Your Dog