Words & Photos by Saidy Lopez
The Stationary Set, The Midnight Hollow at Rough Trade in Brooklyn.
CMJ Music Marathon is a jam packed Music festival that takes over New York every year in the fall. It is a great way to discover new bands. Flashback to 2012, my first year covering this five day music event, I had finished shooting my assigned showcase at Mercury Lounge and was not ready to call it a night, so I walked over to Rockwood Music Hall to check out who was playing. I walked in and there was an exuberant crowd singing and dancing along to the highly energetic band on stage, so I decided to stay.
Unfortunately, I only caught the last two songs of their set, but their spirited performance was so contagious it would be forever ingrained in my memory. I googled The Stationary Set when I got home and checked out their music and promised myself I would see them again. Time passed and many shows later I still had not been able to check out a show due to conflicts in my schedule. I then saw via social media that they were playing their first show of 2015 at one of my favorite venues in Brooklyn and therefore could not miss it. I can honestly say it was worth the wait.
The soulful Andy Suzuki & the Method got the night started. Although my primary interest and motivation to venture out to Rough Trade were to see The Stationary Set, I arrived in time to catch The Midnight Hollow play their full set. It’s always great to hear a band for the first time and be pleasantly surprised by their music and live performance. The band is led by singer song-writer Spencer Draeger and drummer Andrew Segreti to bring forth a blend of moody synth pop. They played songs off their self-titled EP and their new single “Wall,” which they describe as “focused and colorful.” It is not a departure from their sound but the evolution of it.
Brooklyn-based, indie-electro-pop-rock band, The Stationary Set consists of Andrew Lutes (vocals, guitar), Joshua Hoisington (vocals, guitar, piano, programming), Josh Davis (guitar, piano), Gabriel Kubitz (bass, vocals) and Logan Baldwin (drums). The band came together in 2009 and put out their full album Haunt On in 2011 and released the EP Lion last year. They have played at festivals like SXSW, Lollapalooza and CMJ and their live performances have not only made a great impression on me and their fans but also with the critics.
They started their set with “Magic” and brought out friend and fellow musician, Lolo to sing on “Carve Into Me.” I spent half the time trying to capture their vibrant energy in stills and the other half absorbing it and dancing along with the rest of the crowd. At one point it appeared as though Joshua Hoisington sprouted octopus hands and was playing three instruments. That kind of animated sound and energy is what sets them apart. Everyone was having such a great time that they did not want the night to end. I asked Andrew if perhaps there were a couple other songs jotted down on the back of his set list. He assured me there wasn’t, but they did play one more song and sent the joyful crowd into the cold night with a little warmth in their hearts.