Welcome to the Northside Music Festival in Brooklyn NY. A place where artistic feedback is bouncing off every wall. To enter the performance space where the Art of Shooting was playing this evening, I had to walk through a crowded Williamsburg restaurant, then through a narrow hallway where I was greeted by an awkward man with a smile. I caught the tail end of the band playing before them, Neckbeard Telecaster, a group of 10 men playing at least 8 instruments channeling their inner Johnny Cash, with a rock and roll edge.
As the testosterone on stage was gradually replaced by the estrogen of mostly female composed ‘Art of Shooting‘, I knew this was my time to start paying real attention. The whimsical opening track to the set, catapulted my mind to a fantasy world not short of the seven dwarfs. Kelly Irene Corson, one of the sole band members who hasn’t changed in the 5 years these guys have been playing, belted out some passionately brooding chords with the help of her backup vocals. The chemistry between the band members could have been stronger, there was a bit of disconnect at times, but the songs were polished and sounded well rehearsed. Kelly writes extremely personal lyrics. The sound of this band is haunting to say the least, and in my eyes can be compared to an early Smashing Pumpkins. The melodies, bold yet gentle, are at times accompanied by the keyboard and guitar players. Their music is intense and touchingly personal, which helps the audience connect with the energy that Kelly emits. If you enjoy acts like Explosions in the Sky, Feist and The Pretenders, these guys will be sure to impress you.
The songs are nothing but haunting and melody driven, harsh in a sweet way, if you will. The sound overwhelmed the space, a much larger room was needed to accommodate Kelly’s voice. Towards the end of the set Kelly offered the audience free CD’s, which I thought was a nice gesture, she also expressed a sincere gratitude towards the audience, and claimed she had been looking forward to the show all week. But there was at least one audience member she wasn’t too thrilled with, as the last song played was introduced with a disclaimer, “this song goes out to someone that may be here tonight, if you are in this room.. listen carefully….” I wouldn’t want to be on this lady’s bad side!
As long as i’m not the inspiration for her next song, count me in at the next show!