On Saturday night I was invited to The Bowery Electric by my friend, Jackson. Better known on stage as Retrograded, this artist headlined a show for the first time with a fantastic line-up of artists all of whom fit into the vast genre of pop in different ways. The result was an evening of dancing, sing-alongs, and straight-up musical appreciation.
Diving right into his set, Brendan Mieles and band accompaniments – The Bounce, warmed up a slowly accumulating crowd with “Bonnie & Clyde”, one of Mieles original singles. Covers by artists such as Miguel, SZA, and the Weeknd were also performed with a special version of Adele’s “All I Ask” performed as a drill track – a musical style characterized by trap influence. The pulsing drum beat may seem like an improper choice for an Adele song, but the contrast presented by these contradictory musical styles proved Mieles as a skillful and creative artist. On the topic of genre, Mieles announced to the crowd that he separates himself from other artists by bringing rhythm back to the R&B and pop genres, a statement that was evident throughout his set. Mieles also played a couple unreleased tracks from a new project scheduled to release in May.
Next up was Bade, a soft spoken artist who performed vocals and played the keyboard alongside Konstantinos Revelas who played the bouzouki, a type of lute from Greece. The unconventional instrumental layout of Bade’s set paired with her gentle vocals and intimate singer songwriter style put the audience in a trance as she performed original songs in both Turkish, such as “Geçer Gider” and English, such as “Time (Zaman)” and “Falling for the Wrong Ones” – the latter of which she invited the audience to snap along to. Throughout her set, Bade played with tempo vocally and instrumentally, allowing for the energy in the venue to shift as she performed a collection of emotionally potent tracks. Bade’s expressive vocals backed by an internationally influenced sound created a wonderfully dynamic act that thankfully seems to have more music in the works.
Taking the stage next with just an acoustic guitar was Tom Sangiorgio. A seriously strong voice allowed Sangiorgio to successfully play pop and classic rock hits from a span of decades including, Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill”, Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time”, Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’”, and The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris”, among others. Sangiorgio had a fun stage presence filled with audience interaction. At one point he asked the audience for any requests, and during his performance of “Iris” had the crowd waving their flashlights and drinks in the air. In addition to these familiar covers, Sangiorgio also performed a few of his own love-centric originals, such as “Half Hearted”, “In Your Eyes”, and “Easy to Love”. As much as I love acts with a full band, sometimes all you need is a man with a guitar – and Tom Sangiorgio provided!
Set to wrap-up the night was Retrograded, who began his performance with his song “Red Lights”. Backed up by what I can only describe as some sick dance moves, the fun Retrograded had on stage was infectious. Throughout his set, a scene of enthusiasm from the crowd erupted as people sang and danced along to his originals including “Stay Warm”, “Spaceship Boy”, “Hi I Miss You”, and his freshly released EP, Think of Me. He also performed “Slice” and “Thunderstorm” from his collaborative artistic project – Highway Flowers. The artist even stepped off the stage into the highly engaged crowd to sing and dance with the audience. The energy in the room was at an all time high during this closing set, at one point I was even convinced the floor was going to cave in from the sheer amount of force bouncing on top of it. If you haven’t already listened to it, be sure to check out Retrograded’s February 25th release, Think of Me now available on streaming platforms!