Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Last week, NYC-based alt-rock trio Newborn hit the stage at Arlene’s Grocery as part of a Rocker Stalker event, and while the city was getting drenched by a downpour of rain, the weather outside couldn’t dampen the spirits of those inside at the show.
Desiring an air of intimacy, at the start of their set Newborn frontman Allen James (on the left in the photo) invited fans to bring the half dozen, or so, chairs in the venue to an area in front of the stage. A group of fans quickly obliged, and an immediate connection between artist and fan was made.
By the end of Newborn’s set, those in the chairs, and those standing up, were united in chanting for “one more song.”
Here are three reasons you should join them, and see Newborn live.
1. Newborn are modern alt-rock with classic rock influences
The first time I saw Newborn was back in January of 2016 at the old Studio at Webster Hall, and at the time I said I felt they had a slight Soul Asylum vibe. That comparison, however, doesn’t fit quite as well in 2019, as the band now seems to have embraced some classic rock influences. In other words – the guitar solo isn’t dead, and when it’s done by Allen James, it sounds great!
2. The band has a vast musical knowledge, and it shows
Every band covers songs, but most of the time those songs are either of the same genre, or are cheeky covers of pop hits. Both of those types of covers can be really fun. Sometimes, however, a band likes to flex its musical chops a bit, and Newborn did this with two covers on this night – one was originally by a band that’s synonymous with the ‘90s, while the other was by a trip-hop/electronica group so obscure that even I’d only heard of them because I happened across their music while creating a playlist two years ago.
The ‘90s cover was a reworked version of the Garbage classic “Only Happy When It Rains,” which was apropos being that everyone had to dodge raindrops to get to the show.
The other cover was a reimagining of Hooverphonic’s “Mad About You.” Fun fact – Hooverphonic will represent Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020.
3. Nothin’ but a good time
I hope the band doesn’t want to throw things at me for making #3 a Poison reference, but Newborn’s shows are most definitely a good time. Case in point – it was a rainy night, a rainy Tuesday night. That’s two strikes against any band playing in the city, as it’s hard enough to get people to come out on a Tuesday, but to get them to come out on a Tuesday in the rain? You’re more likely to see a unicorn on Houston.
That said, Newborn still drew fans to the show, including some folks who’d never seen them before. Out of the trio of concert goers I spoke with, two of the three were Newborn newbies, and from the looks of it they were loving the show.
If Newborn can energize an NYC crowd on a rainy Tuesday, just think of what they can do if you see them on a clear weekend.
To find out when, and where, Newborn will be performing next, check out their website for show dates.