Article and Photos by: Steven Principato
NYC – Catering to a wide variety in musical taste, from atmospheric to singer/songwriter, all the way down the black abyss of dark industrial – three vastly contrasting and unique aspiring artists prepared to take the stage at NYC’s Gramercy Theater.
Opening the show with an abbreviated but rather effective set was Zvi, comprised of one man, Ron Varod, armed simply with a guitar and a plethora of atmosphere altering effects. Comparable more to synths and samples rather than the common conventions of a typical guitar sound, Zvi Displayed his various talents as a solo-singer and sound-smith, far beyond the confines of a back up band.
Altering the tone of the night and sending the mood into a dramatically different direction was the folk-inspired pianist and singer, Courtney Swain. Yet another solo act, armed only with a piano and a microphone, Swain shared a brief set of personal and heartfelt numbers with an open minded and receptive audience, all of who remarkably responded warmly to the lone singer’s flawless voice, skillful piano work, and genuine lyrics.
Changing the mood now to that of a darkened, dystopian techno-pocalypse, The Black Queen took the stage before the packed house. Unleashing their unique method of heavy-handed, excessively beat happy dark atmospherics, The Black Queen might appear easily comparable and reminiscent to the nostalgic sounds of N.I.N, whom resident sound-smith, Joshua Leeds Eustis is associated with. With the heavily reverberating yet dance-able ambiance of the background music mix, combined with soulful Reznor-like vocals of the menacing front man Greg Puciato, the apparent fanatical reception exhibited by the black-clad legions of her dark majesty’s loyal subjects had become explicitly clear and justified.
The Black Queen, ironically reigning all the way from sunny Los Angeles is a fairly fresh act, save for the previous experience of her members. Under the blessing of a never ending cycle of resurgence and acknowledgement to our musical predecessors of bygone eras and much endeared teenage nostalgia, the a bright future seems rather certain to illuminate the gloomy reality of shadowy The Black Queen, should they choose to lift the metaphorical shades of their subversive concept.