Friday, May 4, 2012

BAM's Crossing Brooklyn Ferry 2012, Opening Night May 3

With Paul in the BAMcafé
Last night was the first night of Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, a new music festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).  BAM has hosted many single concerts before, but to have the entire main building taken over by like-minded indie music fans was something definitely different. As curated by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry (named after the Walt Whitman poem) celebrated all the connections the brothers have made since leaving Ohio to make Brooklyn their home (handy New York Times graphic here).  As the first act began in the BAMcafé, the intense JACK Quartet, Bryce Dessner sat  in the crowd with his head tilted in concentration.  Aaron Dessner soon entered the venue and stood at attention in the back.  Without any official declaration, their musical concept became a reality.  Just off tour with Bon Iver, yMusic took the stage next and then the room filled with people as the rows of chairs were removed for People Get Ready.  This band seemed much tighter and together since we caught them warming up for Washed Out last summer, which is always nice to witness in live performance.

Crossing paths again with David Byrne
We spent the rest of the night checking out the acts in the Opera House: Twin Shadow, Sharon Van Etten and The Walkman. The crowd was allowed to fill in the orchestra pit and without ticketed seats, mingle about at will.  This also allowed a nice back and forth during sets in the Opera House back to other bands in the BAMcafé,  along with food and drink.  Wondering where Paul had wandered off, I texted him for info.

"Upstairs talking to db" he wrote, using the initials for David Byrne who we had heard was in the house.  I thought maybe Paul was just saying Byrne was nearby, but when I got there I saw he was indeed telling the truth -- two guys just chatting at the bar. Paul was in the middle of telling our story of helping his friend Brian Eno through airport security after Moogfest last fall. I chimed in with details and then asked him about how he once said that he was disappointed not to see his contemporaries at music shows around the city.  Turns out he actually meant fellow musicians, not just the same generation of music fans (like me!)

Looking forward to going back Saturday night and full write up on PopMatters here.  Below is a few photos and videos from the night...

BAM Lobby

Loads of band merch available, love it!!!

  Sharon Van Etten "All I Can" @ Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, BAM 5/3/12

                       The Walkmen "Heaven" @ Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, BAM 5/3/12

The Walkmen set list