lespecial cruised into Brooklyn, NY on Friday for a two-show engagement at The Sultan Room, the recently renovated Bushwick club with impeccable sound, prime sightlines, and a spectacular LED display adorning the wall behind the stage.
Coming in hot off of a sold-out Thursday night performance at Ardmore, PA’s Ardmore Music Hall, guitarist Jon Grusauskas, drummer Rory Dolan, and bassist Luke Bemand got down to work in Brooklyn with an early set featuring a selection of tunes from across the band’s recorded repertoire as well as a Beatles-inspired segment comprised of a solo bass rendition of “Let It Be” and a full-band, reggae-style arrangement of “Because”.
While the early set lit the fuse, lespecial’s vessel truly achieved liftoff at the start of the late show. After taking the stage to the drone of “Mars Attacks!”, Bemand stepped to the mic to welcome the audience and announce that the “CDC has decriminalized standing up indoors in New York City.”
Heeding his invitation, the limited-capacity crowd got on its feet and stayed there throughout the stunning display of creativity and musicianship that followed.
The band kicked off the late set with a pair of songs from 2017’s Cheen, “Onlookers” and “Donut Ghost House II”, before moving into Ancient Homies cut “Repeater”—appropriately one of only two songs to be repeated in the late show after appearing in the early show (we see what you did there).
Next up, Luke, Rory, and Jonny G offered up their afrobeat tribute to both Fela Kuti and Harambe, “Harambe Zombie”, before continuing to work through newer-vintage material with “Machine Elf”. lespecial shifted gears from there with a bass-heavy cover of Antennae‘s remix of OAKK track “Dreams”.
After working through “Second Antler” and returning to the Cheen well for “Donut Ghost House I”, the band dug back to 2015’s Omnisquid for a run through “New Fish”.
Earlier this year, lespecial dedicated a considerable chunk of time and effort to learning the entirety of Primus‘ debut album, Frizzle Fry, for a full-album livestream. Following the success of the project, lespecial plans to take the Frizzle Fry set to select festivals later this summer. In Brooklyn, the trio took the opportunity to get in some Primus practice with Frizzle Fry track “Harold of the Rocks”.
With time for a few more, lespecial closed out the night with “The Vessel”, “What’s Crappenin'”, and “Tonberry”.
Below, check out a selection of photos and videos from the two lespecial performances at The Sultan Room in Brooklyn. For a full list of upcoming lespecial tour dates, head here.
Setlist: lespecial | The Sultan Room | Brooklyn, NY | 6/4/21
Early Show: Snell’s Fleet, Repeater, Loop > Pentachronic, Jackwise, Let It Be (The Beatles, bass solo) > Because (The Beatles, reggae arrangement) > Bit Crusher Improv, Egg Time > Gallows Hill, The Vessel, Fruit Wolf Dance
Late Show: Onlookers, Donut Ghost House II, Repeater, Harambe Zombie, Machine Elf, Dreams (OAKK, Antennae remix), Second Antler, Donut Ghost House I, New Fish, Harold of the Rocks (Primus), The Vessel, What’s Crappenin’, Tonberry
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lespecial – “Gallows Hill” – 6/4/21
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