Thursday Night in the Lower East Side was no ordinary weekday as bands filled every venue in sight, hour to hour with each venue packed with music loving souls. An absolutely gorgeous day in fall Manhattan left us energized to do a marathon run of shows all along Bowery and Ludlow St. We stopped into The Living Room, a well known acoustic folk club venue in the Lower East Side which showcases some incredible artists in a very intimate atmosphere. We caught two great acts there, the first being Emmanuel & the Fear, which was a great surprise to start off the festival for us. This eleven piece band of strings, horns and rock band instrumentation dazzled the senses as they explored thoughtful songwriting with simple but powerful arrangements. This young band gave me the touching warmth of Neil Young mixed in with some arranging similar to Wilco. Keep an eye out for them, once they cut their teeth performing, they’ll be a great act to follow.
A few hours and a few songwriters later, we were back at the Living Room to see a beautiful set by Berklee alums Annie and the Beekeepers. Annie’s music is rustic style blended with plain emotion and gives off the feeling of an Emily Dickinson poem. Accompanied by Alexandra Spalding’s velvety harmony, they change the whole atmosphere of the modern lower east side to the Greenwich Village of the 60s. Music played solely for the song and the listener, it is always a pleasure to hear it straight from the heart from Annie and her Beekeepers.