The BMI showcase graced Arlene’s Grocery on Day Three of CMJ 2011, and what started off as mellow turned into pure raucousness. One of the earlier acts in the evening, St. Louis’s Pernikoff Brothers did a pretty stellar job of warming up the crowd with its fluid folk-rock. Consisting of brothers Tom and Rick along with pal Dan Germain, the Pernikoff Brothers held everyone’s attention with rich, slow-paced melodies. Included in the group’s set was the track “On My Way,” which was one of its more energetic songs of the evening.
As Arlene’s continuously got busier (making it increasingly hard to get a drink), the night continued on with Seattle’s the Young Evils. With some beautifully constructed melodies and pretty hilarious lyrics, the Young Evils picked up where the Pernikoff Brothers left off. A strong stage presence and chemistry definitely added depth to the Young Evils’ performance, and lead singer Mackenzie Mercer showed off her vocal variety with songs like “Dead Animals” and “Touchtone Lovers.” Though the set only lasted for about 15 minutes, the members of the Young Evils definitely had their say and were able to seriously warm up Arlene’s with their easy-going charm.
Next on Arlene’s roster was the Brooklyn-based band Ambassadors. Made up of members Sam Harris, Casey Harris, Noah Feldshuh and Adam Levin (note: different from the Maroon 5, Adam Levine), Ambassadors exuded a charm that was equal parts Young The Giant and Born Ruffians. During its set, the band played some upbeat pop tracks that included “Unconsolable” and “Falls,” which definitely showed off the vocal gusto of the lead singer. As its set progressed, Arlene’s was at capacity and the atmosphere definitely picked it up a notch with the band’s happy-go-lucky style of pop. With good sound quality and a warm stage presence, Ambassadors is definitely a band to stalk during the madness that is CMJ 2011.
All photos by Chris Becker