An abundance of quality Connecticut bands has been making waves over the past several years, including Kung Fu, Goose, and lespecial. New Haven’s own Eggy is the latest to turn heads and garner attention up and down the East Coast.
Following a stacked fall tour playing with the likes of Cycles, Strange Machines, and Goose, as well as appearances at festivals like Adirondack Independence Music Festival, Eggy made their way back home to Connecticut for a show at StageOne in Fairfield on Saturday night.
The last time they played this venue was back in March for a sold-out Watercolor Days album release show. Their return, on the seventh night of Hanukkah, provided fans and first-timers with an Eggy experience unlike any before. The two-set show contained both acoustic and electric sets full of original tunes.
The first was billed as an acoustic set. As such, the stage was much more minimal than a traditional Eggy show. Stools for guitarist Jake Brownstein and bassist Mike Goodman sat center stage, flanked to the right by a smaller-than-usual drum kit for Alex Bailey and to the left by a single keyboard for Dani Battat. Menorahs decorated the stage, helping to set the holiday celebration in motion.
It’s unusual to see all of the members of this band not bobbing and weaving onstage, let alone all seated. Even more unusual was the sight of hundreds of fans in seats. As the music started, however, nobody seemed out of place. In fact, the room felt about as intimate as could be.
After working through “Between You and Me” and “Fragments”, Eggy moved into the instrumental “BubaGum” off their 2019 debut LP, Watercolor Days. Traditionally a very funky track, the acoustic version took on a life of its own. Both Jake and Dani took turns with leads while Mike and Alex held down a steady rhythm section.
Jake took a few seconds for some friendly banter following “Bloomlight”: “Hey Dani, now I know what it’s like to be you sitting on your ass every show”. After a moment of laughter, Bailey cued the band into “Finding and Losing” by asking the crowd, “Who’s ready to party?”
Much like “BubaGum”, “Finding and Losing” took on a new sheen in the acoustic setting. The song is quite upbeat and contains several improvisational sections that change tempo and take listeners on a ride of sonic enjoyment. After slowing things down a bit with “Island Afterlife” and subsequently picking it back up with “Mr. Domino”, the band dropped into “Graceless”.
“Graceless” is an Eggy staple. It highlights their penchant for songwriting, both lyrically and compositionally. It contains a chorus that is likely to get stuck in the listeners head, paired with a groove that nearly knocked Jake and Mike from their stools. The harmonizations were as on-point as Dani’s keys during the outro.
Following a rendition of “Zugzwang”, the band gave a shout-out to a longtime friend—and the pen behind both “Graceless” and “Zugzwang”—Patrick Amarante. They then finished their acoustic set with “Leatherback”, giving fans an opportunity to stretch their legs before set two.
It very quickly became clear that nobody would be sitting for the second installment. The band had their usual setup in place when they returned for set two. Dani sat behind three keyboards and an organ, while Jake stood alongside Mike with his custom electric guitar. Bailey took to the throne behind his full kit and they exploded into “Last of Kin”, letting loose an energy that had seemingly bottled up over the last set.
The contrasts between set one and set two were apparent from the beginning. Aside from a change in energy, the band members even changed clothes. Dani put the organ—which was being guarded by a stuffed Big Bird—to work on “All Wheels Turnin'”. A dark and spacey jam was controlled by Goodman’s low-end prowess and the metronome-like timing of Bailey.
“Wayless” followed, and contained a Hanukkah-appropriate “Dreidel Dreidel” tease before an “Apology” > “Backyard Bear” segue kept the set grooving. Jake’s ability on the six-string shined through on the original debut of “Backyard Bear”. His improvisational skills were on full display as he seemingly never repeated a phrase the entire night.
“This next song is about portable air”, Brownstein said of the next song, appropriately titled “Portable Air Scrubber”. The lengthy jam section in this number included a tease of their go-to jam vehicle, “Onitsuka Tiger”. After “Home is Where the Dog Lives”, Eggy provided a jarring rendition of “Watercolor Days”, the title track from their debut album. It contained an acapella intro that, once again, highlighted the foursome’s effortlessly blended vocal harmonies.
An exploratory improv section led into a seamless transition to “Hux (Wit It)“. Tempo and time signature changes highlighted the jam section here before the band segued into a reprise of “Mr. Domino” to put the lid on set two. Applause carried throughout the short encore break, prompting the band to come out for a couple more tunes.
The two-song encore contained two Watercolor Days songs, “Golden Gate Dancer” and “Upside Down”, and pushed right up against the 12:00 a.m. curfew. Applause rang out once again as the band took a bow and gave thanks.
Below, you can check out a gallery of photos from Saturday’s Eggy show at StageOne courtesy of Chris Sidoruk.
Eggy will take their talents north to Bolton Valley in Bolton, VT (1/10) and the Bank of NH Stage in Concord, NH (1/11) following a Twiddle after-party with Twiddle bassist Zdenek Gubb at Great Scott in Boston, MA on December 30th. They will then join Spafford on their Winter 2020 Tour for a string of southeast dates in January. Eggy will meet back up with Spafford in February for shows in Washington, D.C. (2/5), Boston, MA (2/6), and Brooklyn, New York (2/7, 2/8). Visit the band’s official website for more information and a full list of upcoming dates.
Setlist: Eggy | StageOne | Fairfield, CT | 12/28/19
Set One (Acoustic): Between You and Me, Fragments, BubaGum > Bloomlight, Finding and Losing, Island Afterlife, Mr. Domino, Graceless, Zugzwang, Leatherback
Set Two (Electric): Last of Kin, All Wheels Turnin’, Wayless^, Apology > Backyard Bear$, Portable Air Scrubber*, Home is Where the Dog Lives, Watercolor Days! > Hux (Wit It) > Mr. Domino Reprise
Encore: Golden Gate Dancer, Upside Down
^Dreidel Dreidel tease
*Onitsuka Tiger tease