I dropped in to the Bowery Ballroom over the weekend to check out Chavez play a “warm-up” concert before they embark on a European tour where they’ll be playing at All Tomorrow’s Parties in London, the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, and at David Lynch’s private club in Paris. Not bad for a band that first appeared on the downtown scene in 1992, eh? Well the show was anything but warm. In fact in was pretty hot in there with a capacity crowd swarming the stage to get a closer look at their favorite alternative/math rock band.
Behind the soulful singing and high-wire guitar playing of Matt Sweeney, with the driving “anti-rock” drumming of James Lo, the ferociously rocking guitar of Clay Tarver, and the stealth bass attack from Scott Marshall, the high energy did not let up. The band pulled out all its punches and sounded as fresh as ever, playing the oldies but goodies that quickly gained them a following in the New York underground scene in the ’90s, such as Break Up Your Band, and Unreal is Here.
One heckler called out for some new tunes, but he was in the minority as the crowd seemed to love singing along to those favorites. They did play one new jam-in-progress song—it’s a delight to know that they’re still working on new material. I think Chavez has come back to stay!