Mikal Cronin - Photo by Angel Eugenio Fraden

Mikal Cronin – Photo by Angel Eugenio Fraden


Last Wednesday, Mikal Cronin headlined a four-act show at Webster Hall presented by Panache Booking. Local Brooklyn group, Nude Beach, opened the night with a frenzied, high-frequency set of bare-bones thrash pop. The surprise guest billed for the evening was revealed as Saint Rich, New Jersey’s most recent Merge signees. Lead guitarist Christian Peslak abandons his post with Delicate Steve for a more subdued, bluegrass direction. The biggest surprise though was elicited from the following act, The Entrance Band. Praised by Thurston Moore as “the most alluring and, yes, entrancing vibe I’ve yet to experience in this new age,” this salacious psych-rock trio did more than live up to the hype. Female bassist Paz Lenchantin (previously also a member of A Perfect Circle, Zwan and now brand new bassist for the Pixies) was sultry and enthralling with her theatrics. Her counterpart and lead guitarist, Guy Blakeslee, was a show-stopping concussion of calamitous melody. Together they filled the venue with expansive energy, bounding to and from the stage and leaping up on large amplifiers.
 
Mikal Cronin came shortly after, his band made up of similarly dressed, shoulder-length-haired slack-rockers. Despite being generally averse to the spotlight, Cronin stole the show with his irreverent flair for dramatics. A bare minimum of his time was spent crooning to the mic, whimpering soft verses or bellowing jubilant choruses. Mostly, he relinquished his energies to a passionate, almost spiritual guitar performance. Ankles crooked out the sides of his legs, hair streaming down his face, spasmodic limbs taking on convulsive shapes—Cronin seemed to be at once playing to the crowd and playing to himself. All in all, a rare night where each of the four acts proved intriguing.
 
Words and Photos by Angel Eugenio Fraden.