LIVE! Review: CMJ 2015- POWERS & The Zolas (Rockwood 10/15)

10/21/2015 tunes4loons 0 Comments


I can hear that fun, thumping POWERS bass-line as soon as I submerge from the subway stop, no lie*. FREE CONCERT IN THE STREET HELLYEAH!! Oh, jk, the showcase is free, so I stop dancing with the homeless guy outside and go in.

I was immediately digging the band's vibes. Crista Ru was wearing platform combat boots. (I repeat, PLATFORM COMBAT BOOTS. I want! I need! Although by asking for them I'm basically asking for a sprained ankle. I have the balance of a giraffe on rollerskates**). Oh, and Mike del Rio looked straight off the set of some eighties porno version of "Ferris Bueller". Needless to say, both members of POWERS has personal style for dayyyyys, y'all!

I love their music but seeing it live elevated all their tracks to an even more dynamic level. I was only half a beer deep and still these guys managed to have me thrashing my head along to the drum solo. Everything was so intricately laced and layered and with each song POWERS' stage confidence and connection with the crowd grew stronger. They kinda sounded like Santana. But, like, Santana at their absolute best (aka collaborating with Rob Thomas #smooth=BAE). 

They closed with a bang, performing "Loved By You", The Knocks' "Classic", and "Beat of My Drum." all in one fell swoop. It was my bliss, it was my heaven, it was simply perfection. I haven't raved so much about something since our review of Jamie xx in June! (And I was super high writing said post, so that's a feat & a half, POWERS! I'm as generous as Mother Theresa when I'm stoned.)

*Yes, I got there late because a) I was was born after 1990 and b) a 7:00 pm start time is ambitious as fuq. Any 20-something in an any sort of "assistant" role will understand my pain, here!

**weird analogy but how FUN is that image of a giraffe of rollerskates?? #urwelcome


I swear to god the lead singer was wearing a time turner around his neck. He wore some trinket on a long gold chain and looked straight out of a 1999 LL Bean catalogue. So time travel was the first thing my batshit brain jumped to. I got major "Spoon" vibes from these guys. But they also managed to sound sort of cross-generational—A reference to 50's-style rock here. A nod to 90's grunge there. A bit of 60's-style acid rock and mid-2000's surf rock scattered throughout. The Zolas basically created an incredibly delicious jambalaya of vintage sound (Sry, I've been watching too much Food Network, but I stand by that statement nonetheless). 

Honestly what was there not to love about everything associated with The Zola's Thursday night performance? 

Bass?: Good. 
Guitar?: Fantastic.
Drums?: Stellar.
Piano?: Lively.
Crowd?: Engaged.
Anecdotes?: Endearing.
"I Fell In Love With New York"?: Amazing.
"Knot in My Heart"?: Exceptional.
This review? ........mmmmmm, Mediocre (at best.)

Okay, so maybe not everything associated with their performance is flawless. We kinda ruined your perfect score there, The Zolas. Many apologies -___-. Sry, but was a loooooong-ass week of CMJ festivities so I'm basically running on chocolate-covered expresso beans and good memories while writing this.

But, seriously, yah killed it, Zolas. 10 out of 10, 5 stars, whatever unit of measurement you wanna go with. I personally like to rate things in terms of Hogwarts house points #nErdyAF:

- 5 points for mentioning not 1, but 2 Disney princesses in a set (and the best ones at that. I would like to think that Mulan is my cartoon spirit-animal. In reality, it's probably Angelica Pickles).

- 10 points for talking audience suggestions

- 50 points for taking MY audience suggestion, "Strange Girl" (aka my fucking anthem)

- 150 mother-fucking points for spontaneously climbing into the audience and getting all kumbaya for your last song, "Escape Artist". 85 tipsy New Yorkers chanting "coming cumming in the sheets" was both uplifting and fucking hilarious.

And so that brings Gryffindor (#fuckingDUH you boys are in Gryffindor!) to 560 total house points. Verdict:

Lol, basically only did the gif thing so I can watch that last one over and over. Tumblr's funny, y'all! Who knew? <---- everyone, that's who. Sry, as mentioned above, I'm perpetually late to the party.