Review of Rockwood Music Hall; The Picture
“Rockwood is the most amazing little room. Best sound in town, and I am not kidding.” –Wes in my comments.
Nope, he isn't kidding. Rockwood Music Hall does have the best sound in the city. My jaw was dropping listening to the Picture perform in that tiny room off Allen Street Monday night. Can a PA sound better than a professionally mastered album? I’m beginning to think so.
The VI and I –henceforth known together as “the VII” (pronounced as the roman numeral)- sat at one of the few tables as we watched singer/guitarist Rob lead though quieter, subtler renditions of most of the material from their album Connect. As you know by now, an “acoustic” set only means “without drums.” Monday night that meant an electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, and at the end, piano. Oh, I forgot to mention: 90% of the stage at Rockwood is devoted to a grand piano. It’s a big “screw you” to all you drummers.
Without a drum section, almost always a critical feature in a serious band, I was wary. I had seen an ‘acoustic’ Wrens last summer wiggle through what material they could without Jerry Wren, and while a valiant effort, left me unfulfilled.
The Picture, on the other hand, played everything with such ease; I began to wonder what the drummer actually does for them. They played with such great fluidity... or is it solidity (?)... in my case, it's synonymous. Every single damn last note came through crystal clear on all instruments. On top of that, the vocals and harmonies were unmatched.
I’m not really sure if this is a raving review of the band or the venue.
VI's take: “Approximately the size of a two bedroom East Village apartment, calling it a "Hall" is generous. I loved it; the vibe and acoustics of the room are beyond reproach. I think I'll be spending many more nights there.”
Go listen to the Picture at myspace, and see them play Pianos every Wednesday in March (except the Wednesday they are at SXSW).