Concert Review: Hey Rosetta, April 23, Schubas Tavern

Schubas seems to bring out the jokester in their performing bands — Bishop Allen’s bassist cracked a great one this past fall and last night when their keyboard went down, Kevin Garrett, the frontman of the eponymous opener, busted this one out:

“Two cats went swimming. One was called ‘one, two, three’, and the other was called ‘un, deux, trois’. Only one cat survived – which one was it?”

“One, two, three survived because the un, deux, trois cat sank!”

Took me a moment but I laughed so.hard. when I figured it out. (If you don’t get it say it out loud, it’ll help. Or maybe I’m the only one dense enough not to get it right away.)

While that was probably the highlight of my night, the music wasn’t half bad either. If you’re looking for soulful indie filled with mournful passion in a sweet falsetto, look no further than Kevin Garrett. The New Yorker came out last night along with a second keyboardist/synth player and a drummer, and worked his way through his new EP Mellow Drama released in 2015. Sounding like a combination of James Vincent McMorrow and Sam Smith, Garrett serenaded the crowd from behind his keyboard with his silky smooth and penetrating croon all the while half-laughing at himself (and at one very adorable moment in the night, making smacking sounds at the crowd with his lips before starting his croon).

Next up was Hey Rosetta! Garrett joked as he was leaving the stage, “Up next is Hey Rosetta! You guys just need to give them a moment so that they can squeeze all 47 of themselves up on stage” and it certainly was a tight squeeze. With seven band members and approximately 14 instruments (keyboards, guitars, drums, tambourine, cello, violin, French horn, cowbell, and many more I couldn’t even name if I tried) there wasn’t a lot of extra space on stage once the band was set up.

Working his distinctive mini-marching-dance steps onstage, Tim Baker jumped right into things with his acoustic guitar, which sported blown up scrabble letters spelling “OK” stuck behind the strings (6 points to Mr. Baker!). The band worked their way through tracks from their new album Second Sight released just this past year including crowd favorite “Gold Teeth” which the band performed with gusto, turning out the lights at the quiet moments just to blare them again as the music heaved forth in a wave. It’s always a pleasure to see musicians play real instruments, and even more so when they swap and move between multiple instruments with ease. The band’s cellist, Romesh Thavanathan, was especially impressive, wielding his cello, a guitar, a cowbell and multiple percussion instruments all with obvious relish and zest. I saw the group open for Stars at the Vic this past winter, and it was a delight to get so up close and personal with them at Schubas last night. Keep a look out for them, they’re coming back for Taste of Randolph this summer — what could be better than seeing this seven piece wield their instruments in the sunshine? Nothing. Well, maybe if they busted out a good joke.

Posted on by Celeste in Concerts