The weekend of April 17-19 delivered a couple of the most satisfying musical experiences I've had in long time. Luck had it that I ended up attending both of Ava Luna’s record release shows in Brooklyn, the first at our regular haunt Baby’s All Right and then later at the always-fun Silent Barn. Both performances had perfectly-curated bills that showcased some amazing artists and complemented the headliners excellently.
First up was the eerily beautiful work of Nat Baldwin. This was the first time I'd heard of the guy, and when he walked on stage with nothing but an upright bass I was immediately intrigued.
It turned out to be an utterly engaging performance. Despite being completely solo, Nat's set had a head-turning dynamism that quickly got everyone in the audience grooving along with him.
Next up were ATL punks Warehouse, and man, were we glad they made the road trip. I originally heard their single, “Omission,” last November and had been itching to see them live. They did not disappoint. The band was tight and Elaine Edenfield's snarling vocals were everything I had hoped they would be.
They got to Baby’s late and had to sound check on the fly, but they quickly began intoxicating the audience with their energy. They were simply having a great time, and we were too. But while they engaged with the audience a bit, there was also a sense that it didn’t matter if we were there at all. I love that—they were performing for themselves. We just happened to be there to experience it.
Finally, the main event! I'd been excited for this show for weeks. The first time I caught Ava Luna live was back in October when they joined Mr. Twin Sister's album release, and since seeing that performance I have been compelled to buy every album of theirs I can track down. I couldn't wait to see what they had in store this time.
They groove like no other. Their solid, grounded beats and diverse pop influences brought me a joy that, honestly, I haven't felt since my dad took me to see concerts as a kid. The atmosphere was relaxed, and people danced like no one was watching. We sang along, jamming on various air-instruments, all while the band serenaded us with vivid lyrical imagery, spastic guitar lines, and just the right amount of playful psychedelia.
We normally wouldn't include this, but check out the list of tour dates below. If Ava Luna are coming to your neck of the woods, do yourself a favor and get tickets. It might be one of the better live shows you’ll ever see.
Apr 30 : Comet Ping Pong :Washington, DC
May 01 : Gallery 5 : Richmond, VA
May 02 : King's Barcade : Raleigh, NC
May 03 : The New Brookland Tavern : West Columbia, SC
May 04 : The Royal American : Charleston, SC
May 05 : 529 : Atlanta, GA
May 06 : Hangfire Bar : Savannah, GA
May 07 : All Saints Cafe : Tallahassee, FL
May 08 : One Eyed Jacks : New Orleans, LA
May 09 : Walter’s Houston : Houston, TX
May 11 : Club Congress : Tucson, AZ
May 13 : Coachella Valley Art Scene : Cathedral City, CA
May 14 : Soda Bar : San Diego, CA
May 16 : Pehrspace : Los Angeles, CA
May 17 : Funzone : Santa Barbara, CA
May 20 : Brick & Mortar Music Hall : San Francisco, CA
May 21 : 1-2-3-4 Go! Records : Oakland, CA
May 22 : Bunk Bar : Portland, OR
May 23 : Cairo : Seattle, WA
May 24 : Obsidian : Olympia, WA
May 25 : Big Dipper : Spokane, WA
May 26 : Neurolux : Boise, ID
May 28 : Leon Gallery : Denver, CO
May 30 : Observatory Studios : Chicago, IL
May 31 : New Dodge Lounge : Hamtramck, MI
Jun 01 : Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum : Milwaukee, WI
Jun 02 : Joyful Noise Recordings : Indianapolis, IN
Jun 03 : Pilot Light : Knoxville, TN
Jun 04 : The Woodward Theater : Cincinnati, OH
Jun 05 : Double Happiness : Columbus, OH
Jun 18 : Baby’s All Right : Brooklyn, NY