The Nico Blues/Those Mockingbirds @ Death By Audio

BROOKLYN, NY—It’s the little things in life that can truly make one happy. For most people, it’s a good book, decent weather, a good cup of coffee and even some good conversation. However, happiness to me is a venue that feels like home surrounded by bands that treat each other the same way. On Feb. 15, Brooklyn’s Death By Audio hosted a show with a lineup of bands who are all part of the same artist collective and who share the same goals—to help each other out however they can and to unite and rebuild the local music scene. For a show on a Wednesday night, the turnout was decent and even with the amount of people there, it still felt very intimate. The venue’s entrance is slightly hidden but not impossible to find. Overall, the venue has a very relaxing feel to it and is definitely a place to check out if you’re a fan of DIY shows.

Even though The Nico Blues were without their guitarist Danny Goldberg and were the first band to hit the stage, they played an energetic set that set the bar high for the evening. Their set mixed together songs from their album, Blame The Boredom, Blame The Basements, their 2009 EP and songs from their upcoming album, Die Happy. To continue creating buzz for the release (which hits stores on Feb. 29), the quintet released “I Could Be Your Pet” on Valentine’s Day. The quintet opened up with “Sinking Or Standing.” Though their set started on such a high-note, The Nico Blues slowed things down for one of their many crowd favorites, “Living Proof,” whose video got the band featured on mtvU. Their catchy single, “I Could Be Your Pet,” followed up and even with its release the day before, there were some people singing along. Occasionally during their set, Evan Campbell, Eric Goldberg and Reed Adler would trade instruments alternating between who would play bass during what song. The Nico Blues closed out their allotted set time with “Melodic Death Jam,” another song off of Die Happy.

After the brother Blues’ departed from the stage, Those Mockingbirds began to set up. One thing about this band that is something to admire, other then their music, is their chemistry. Their stage banter just flows so naturally. From the start of “The Difference Between Love & Addiction” until the end of “Coast To Coast,” Those Mockingbirds busted out one ass-kicking song after another. About half way through their set, the band threw a curve ball at the unexpected audience by playing a new song titled “Salt,” which was received with open arms by the crowd. At one point during their set, vocalist/guitarist Adam Bird got off stage and started to use the stage itself to play his guitar. In addition to the new song, the quintet wooed the room with the incredibly romantic (note a bit of sarcasm here folks) “Don’t Stray,” as well as others off of their EP turned vinyl release, Fa So La. Those Mockingbirds mended the aching hearts of the audience by switching gears and playing the infamously hooky, “Honest, Honest” and closing out with “Coast To Coast.”

The Everymen were up next. I haven’t been to a show in awhile that I didn’t know the bands playing, however, there’s always an exception. I went in blind not knowing what to expect of The Everymen. I was in mild shock about the size of the band (the septet took up the entire stage), but what had me gleaming was the fact that the band has a saxophonist, which added to the rockabilly vibe I got from the group. “Telephone,” my personal favorite of their set was over just as fast as it started. There was no escaping the tune as it engulfed the venue and swept everyone up in the madness. Even from the back room, The Everymen took command.

Compared to The Everymen, Brick And Mortar made the stage look 10 times bigger. There was no other way the night could’ve ended better than with the psychedelic indie duo closing out the show. Up until that night I never saw Brick And Mortar live. I’ve listened to their music and yes, it was love at first listen, but I never saw them perform. By the crowd’s reactions, it was clear who the favorites were. The anticipation and energy began to build and by the time the duo’s final two songs, “20lb” and “Heatstroke,” rolled around everything was off the charts. You could feel the duo feeding off the audience’s energy and vice versa. The venue was glowing. Out of their set, the snappy “Told You” ended up being my favorite. I mean, really, there was no way you could keep your feet still to that catchy number.

Even with my bum leg and the fact that a group of bums tried to steal my cane, last night was fantastic. There wasn’t a better way I could’ve imagined spending my Wednesday evening.