Originally established in California, Living Things has since relocated to the east coast to play live gigs around NYC. The four piece band consisted of Vivien Hale on guitar and vocals, Stavi Kuba on guitar, Yana Kog on bass, and Natasha Jokic on drums. The band played tracks such as “Planet Ex” and “Bones” which bordered alternative pop and punk rock, yet still fit into their mellow on-stage demeanor. The band typically sticks to live gigs, but I would love to see them publish some recorded songs on streaming platforms!
Next up was Ok King, an NYC-based group leaning into the rock and folk genres. Comprised of Jack Fortin, as lead vocalist and guitarist, Kenneth Iselhart on bass, Alexander Taub on the keyboard, and Teddy Sidiropoulos on drums, the band set their stage up for imminent success with the first few songs flowing one into the next without pause. A couple of these rock n’ roll influenced songs included “Bloodhound” and “Ok King” off of the band’s newest album The Ballad of a Disco Daddy. Fortin’s energetic disposition and animated facial expressions fostered an excitement within the crowd. Fortin later told me he originally went to college to pursue acting. I was not surprised. At one point in this theatrical set, Fortin’s shirt was cut off by his backup singers as a representation of freeing him from a feeling of entrapment. Ok King’s sound expressed elements of both modern music and classic rock, paired with a fantastically entertaining stage presence. If you get the chance, be sure to see this band live – I guarantee you’ll have an incredible time!
Jackie Marchal began her set sans introduction, robustly jumping right into her first song. Strong vocals and excellent guitar skills proved Marchal’s talent both solo and as the member of a group. Joined by Timmy Stabler on guitar, Levi Pugh on bass, and Maya Stepansky on drums, the group played songs from Marchal’s catalog, such as “Rhubarb Fields” and some unreleased tracks like “Mental Gymnastics”, “Lifeboat”, “Maze”, and more. Flawlessly blending the gentler indie, singer-songwriter genres with a punk rock flair, it’s evident that Marchal can succeed in any genre she chooses to perform. From upbeat songs with her full band to a soft ballad backed by only a guitar, Marchal demonstrated herself as a dynamic artist with a voice that is truly timeless. Aided by her wide range of musical capabilities, this talented artist has a knack for writing and performing powerful tracks with deep, emotional quality.
Harrison Dolan took to the stage performing vocals and guitar. His accompaniments – dubbed “The Astronauts” – included Kevin Dubois on guitar, Jacob Ott on bass, Andrew Sang on the keyboard, and Tyler Katz on drums. The songs played by the band displayed close attention to instrumental detail, which the Astronauts carried out fantastically using experimental techniques such as altering the guitar to be ultra high pitched and utilizing different keyboard settings to make their music extremely unique. The group played “Leaning on You”, a song of Dolan’s released in 2021, and debuted an unreleased track titled “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”. Dolan and the Astronauts played with the mood in the room by switching between quick, upbeat pop rock tracks to slower tracks with a dreamy bedroom pop and indie feel. Additionally, the band played covers of Rex Orange County and – after a “one more song!” cheer from the audience – Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”. Catch this group slated to play Rockwood Music Hall on February 28th!