Scott Lucas And The Married Men- 05/16/2012
Mercury Lounge -New York City
Words/Photos By Jay PorksBack in April when I was at the Mercury Lounge checking out Local H I said to myself “How the hell are they gonna fit 37 other people on stage when Scott comes back with the Married Men?”. Anyway what the hell goes on people? Long time no speak it seems as we roll into the 70th Edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series, bringing us back to the aforementioned Mercury Lounge (217 E Houston Street NYC) to see the almighty Scott Lucas and The Married Men hit the stage. I joke around of course about the 37 people on stage, as the band's 6 other members-Jason Batchko(Organ & Piano),Aaron Duggins (Accordion), Rebecca Brooke M. (Violin) ,Pete Muschong (Guitars & Vocals),Randy Payne (Drums) & Tom Szidon (Bass & Vocals) really keep things interesting with Scott on guitar(as oppose to the bass pick-ups set up) and lead vocals. If you came to see a band resembling Local H tonight, then you were mislead. Although equal in awesomeness, this is not that. This is, as printed somewhere I can't recall at the time “Country-ish, Alternative Rock for people who like Metal ”. Interrupt that as you will. Anyway, doors open at 9:30PM. Yea, 9:30PM, this is the “Late Show” at Mercury Lounge tonight, as they have an earlier show with some other bands happening that's set to end at 9-9:15PM I'd assume. Ticket says Doors 9:30, Show 9:30. So my guess is it won't be long after I walk through those doors before opening act Shelter Belt is on stage. This is gonna be awesome! So at about 8:20, I had made it to the venue, and what's usually a line of at least a few outside waiting to get in, was almost vacant sidewalk. Two dudes talking, one of them is in the Married Men, and another dude who was in some band( probably one of the openers from the early show). Tried to eavesdrop as much as I could without being a creep- no juicy information to report. Saw Scott Lucas walking around outside. The difference between this and Local H: his cool ass hat. The openers were setting up by the time we (I) was let in at 9:32..
My only problem with Mercury Lounge is their lack of good lighting. I mean, I have a flashlight on my lighter but am I really looking for Scott to punch me tonight?
At 10 on the dot here comes Shelter Belt on stage. Now there's exactly 7 of us in the crowd. Hey at least I'm not alone. This band seemed to be riffin' something fierce during sound check... well, that was all the fierce they'd get. They were like southern (even though I thought they mentioned being from Boston),their bass player looked a tad like Cris Kirkwood, and we hee-hawed our way through their 44 minute set. They had 2 false starts on their 2nd to last song. They also performed a cover that I taped. At least I got to sit down for it.
Suddenly a bunch of dudes in suits start setting stuff up on stage. Those would be the Married Men, and it was at about 11 o'clock when everyone was on stage ready to go, and kick off the set with "Cotton Fields". I'm in my same spot I usually snag at Mercury Lounge, up front to the right. It being my usual spot is the 1st reason I grabbed it, 2nd reason is that the chick who plays violin stands on this side-and she's the only guaranteed female in attendance tonight.
Wish this review was filled with phrases like "the crowd went nuts" or "to a resounding applause"- but I kept turning around and I counted no more than 35 people by nights end. So many people missing this great band. "Lovers Lullaby" was 2nd, and it's here the perfect example of what this band can do with it's loud/quiet dynamic-from extreme folky to extreme feedback . I never thought a band with a violinist and accordion player could get THAT loud and rock THIS hard. And with no one in front of me I'm free to sway left and right as I please. Lovers Lullaby went into "Extra Special Bitter", and then "Blood Half Moons"-the title track from their latest record, you may have read about it on Antiquiet.
You can file this in the "here's something you don't see everyday" section: Before they played "Heavy Little Love", Scott asks "Does anyone have a phone?". Then , realizing how dumb the question was sarcastically continues "yeah, does anyone in New York City have a phone? Well we're gonna make a video for this next song so shoot it and send it to us". Really? That's pretty sweet. Hope when I tweet the video at Scott repeatedly he eventually replies.
This band's not together that long, so I'm always on YouTube looking for live footage of them. And I always wondered why Hey Rita and l Got A Feeling always show up in the same clips. Like it's always Hey Rita/I Got A Feeling. That bothered me, and I was careful tonight when they jumped into "Hey Rita"- kept telling myself "pay attention to when the song ends you idiot". Well, guess who's currently uploading a video titled "Hey Rita/I Got A Feeling"? This guy.
To close out the evening was a cover(the cover they seem to be doing on this tour) of Johnny Cash's "Ain't No Grave(Can Hold My Body Down) ". I got a taste of this when I was here in April to see Local H and Scott opened with some Married Men tunes, but the full band version was un-freaking-believable. The band just explodes into the chorus part-got the accordion guy all over the place on stage, chick with the violin is spazzing out as she ferociously hits every lick on that thing-it was f#%king epic man. It was so intense, it was so awesome, it was so....over. Damn.
After the set, I waited for the band to come off stage as I told them how awesome they were. When Scott passed by I casually said "Amazing, as usual" and he was like "Thanks man" and shook my hand. This Scott Lucas who plays with the Married Men seems to be a much more laid back Scott Lucas. No fans called out during the show or anything. I grabbed the set list while saying to the drummer "As I fan-boy, can I grab this??"
Then I'm walking out and the accordion player is at the doorway and he's like "Got a light?". So while outside for this 2 minutes or so I noticed Scott is at the merch table selling stuff-and since I don't feel like doing laundry for another day I gotta grab myself a tee shirt! Scott was nice as always at the table, I got my Blood Half Moons tee shirt for 17 bucks. I don't remember buying a concert tee at a better price before. So I asked him to sign my ticket stub (you know, cause I only have 2 already) and I said that they better come back as I made my way out the door into the New York City streets a few minutes after Midnight to try and hail down a cab.
Fun times. Have no complaints besides Mercury Lounge barely having any freaking lights. It's dark as hell in there! But besides that, awesome night, awesome tunes. Hope I kept you entertained for the time being, and next time you'll be reading me is when I'm at Orion Music + More Festival in Atlantic City, NJ. Til next time