The Heavy brought their US tour to the Bowery Ballroom for the first of two shows in New York City this week and the energy was consistently high. Supplementing their core quartet with loops and samples as well as a pair of backup singers and some Dap King horns, The Heavy tore through a fun, danceable set of songs, closing the set with "How You Like Me Now," which has become a fixture on the airwaves, largely as the soundtrack to a Kia commercial.
Besides a deep love of soul music and impeccable influences, The Heavy makes its mark largely on the charisma of frontman Kelvin Swaby, who controls the stage with presence. Even though the group had a lot of energy, I'm not sure that the band grooved less than they might have because of the drum loops and samples that anchored a number of the songs.
After a brisk two song encore (closing with the high energy "Oh No, Not You Again"), the band left the stage again with the lights low and the audience applauding for an encore. But after a couple of minutes anticipation the house lights and music came up, indicating that the show was in fact over.
Of all the shows that I've seen over the last decade or so at Bowery Ballroom, this was one of the only ones where the sound was less then impeccable. The room sounded boomier and less crisp than usual. Openers The Black Hollies played with a mix that emphasized the guitar and minimized the vocals and bass. This was all very out of character for Bowery, which is typically the best sounding room in the city.
The Heavy will be back at Bowery on Wednesday, although it is already sold out. More photos follow after the break.
Previously: Heavy Indicia.
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