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Friday, March 27

Review and Photos: The Heavy Pets and FiKus - Brooklyn Bowl - Feb 18th, 2015

Wednesday New York area fans were treated to a powerful evening of live music that ranged from Jazz to Progressive Rock with some serious Funk sandwiched in-between.  This meshing of styles took fans on a musical journey keeping the evening flowing beautifully throughout while offering up something for everyone.

 The Natalie Cressman Band began the night effortlessly engaging the audience in what was the band’s first ever appearance at Brooklyn Bowl. The band, which is built around Natalie Cressman on trombone is made up of James Casey on Sax, Ivan Jackson on Trumpet, Mike Bono on guitar, Jonathan Stein on bass as well as Conor Rayne on drums. The band constructed a set full of original compositions allowing each members’ talents to individually shine, all while beautifully displaying their ability to mesh and become one on stage. Over the course of the evening the band displayed an undeniable connection which resulted in one musical highlight after the next, engaging the crowd while setting the evenings tone perfectly.  This is a group of well-seasoned professionals that each bring something unique to the table and I hope to be hearing more from them very soon.

The evening quickly morphed into a full out funk-a-thon as New Jersey based powerhouse FiKus took to the stage. This band has a way of sucking you in, taking you on a musical journey over the course of each show leaving you fully satisfied while at the same time eagerly awaiting your next chance to do it all again. Which is exactly what they did, crafting a set full of tightly constructed jams and infectious lyrics keeping the crowd moving the entire set. This show was an exceptional example of the bands vast capabilities as they tore through their set, delivering everything from dance infused moog solos to driving percussion segments. Consistently raising the room’s energy song after song, driving the crowd to a blissful peak several times throughout their set that flowed effortlessly to the last note. As I turned to walk away from the stage as the set ended there was only one thought that keep running through my head “Why is this set over?” 
After a quick trip outside to cool down it was right back inside for the evenings closing performance by The Heavy Pets. The band who has been on tour traveling up and down the East Coast, as well as making stops in Colorado and California took to the stage firing on all cylinders from the first notes. Captivating the crowd from the start with a powerful sit-in from Pete Kozak (FiKus) on percussion. The band never looked back crafting a set full of highlights. One of my favorites being a stellar sit-in featuring Natalie Cressman and James Casey bringing a whole added layer to the bands already progressive sound. As the band weaved in and out of songs I felt myself floating away to the happy place in my mind, forgetting where I was for several moments at a time just lost in the music. This was a killer set wrapping up a memorable night of music leaving nothing but a room full of elated fans behind.
There is an amazing world of music out there and nights such as this are a wonderful reminder of how many different bands and styles of music are out there to experience. This meshing of styles worked beautifully together creating a magical evening from start to finish leaving me more eager than ever to get out and see as many shows as possible. Each of these bands brought their own unique abilities and styles to the table leaving nothing but satisfied fans at the end of the night making each a band that you should know and see live at least one time.
Words: Chason Heins
Photos: Mike Geller
 ©Grateful Music LLC