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Brooklyn Vegan Day Party

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., March 16, 2012

Glen Hansard
Glen Hansard
Photo by Sandy Carson

Brooklyn Vegan Day Party

Hotel Vegas/Volstead Lounge, Thursday, March 15

Glen Hansard's guitar is a beautifully beaten machine. With three splintering holes gaping in a discolored crescent from the body, worn by time and the relentless strum of the Irish balladeer's balance of defiance and despair, it seems a physical manifestation of the battered wounds he brandishes in songs. Pitched between the anthemic pop of Icelandic sextet Of Men & Monsters and the equally uptempo polish of Sweden's We Are Serenades, Hansard commandeered the outside stage of Brooklyn Vegan's three-ring bash with a combination of vocal power and presence. Following an a cappella opener of traditional ballad "Spencer the Rover," he soared above the generator hum with "Love Don't Keep Me Waiting" and "Low Rising" and joked self-deprecatingly about sensitive singer-songwriters through the middle of "What Happens When the Heart Just Stops" before finally unplugging and pulling the crowd close for a sing-along of "Say It to Me Now." Meanwhile, inside the Volstead, local female quintet Feathers unloaded an impressive if still developing burst of heavy dual percussion and scuzzy psych with a danceable edge, setting up Ringo Deathstarr's encompassing darkwave drone. Hospitality failed to hook behind the angular, punkish vocals; but Cymbals Eat Guitars buried the inside of Hotel Vegas with its raucous pop hooks.

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