Venue: The Bowery Electric (New York, NY)
Label: T-Bag Records
Since catching the Finnish Glam Rock band Naked in action a couple of months ago as part of the “Big City Rebels” show that paired them with Vains Of Jenna and some other bands, I had to admit that I was excited at the notion that the they would be returning to our neck of the woods for some additional dates as July closed up its book for 2011. The return would find them continuing their invasion in support of their latest album “Double Down” and tonight at The Bowery Electric club would be delivering the goods on the first of about ten regional dates. I’ve been to this space before and can say that depending on who is playing and what kind of crowd they bring in that it is very easy to have a good time inside its walls. I thought it was the perfect setting for a gig by Naked given the clubs close proximity to the now several years shuttered C.B.G.B.’s and its overall Rock and Roll vibe. If you have never been down on the Bowery itself, you might like to know that this club is just off the corner of “Joey Ramone Place” so if you are ever near there be sure to hum some Ramones in his memory. .
The Bowery Electric is one of those venues that place about four to six bands on a bill and this gives the audience the maximum value for their dollar if they choose to arrive early and stay until the final note is played. I generally do that, but a heavy itinerary for the week would find me only interested in the Naked appearance and then it was back to site headquarters. As we might have mentioned in some of our postings about the band, they are fronted by The Muff who plays guitar and sings lead vocals. He and guitarist Zack formed the band a number of years ago and apparently met in High School. Rounding out the lineup is the rhythm section of Ilari and Mr. Tikka who handle bass and drums respectively. They opened their set with “Revolution” and this was a song I had originally thought was called “Let’s Get Naked” since they say that a few times and their name is of course Naked. I was wrong of course but I digress. From the moment they hit the stage the guys are loaded with energy and a really strong sense of positive energy for the sake of Rock and Roll. Next up was “I Know” and there is a groove to this one that just makes you want to be on your feet singing along with the band. I liked “Shelter” which I guess is an older track and I had to say that while there is a radio friendly sense to the “Double Down” album, the songs are a little heavier in a live setting and I liked that quite a bit.
“Combo” is a concoction of Muff and the boys and the last time I saw them do this they had mixed up a number of interesting selections of numerous bands. This time around they did this with their own older material and I really enjoyed this. Clearly the band has some killer stuff in their older repertoire that should be brought more to light for these new fans in the USA to enjoy. Muff and the boys tossed signature guitar picks out to the assembled audience which was on the intimate side for this gig but they were sure loud when it counted. He tried to see what kind of response he would get to toss out a t-shirt but before keeping up on this instead tossed it to a lovely young lady that was taking photos. That was probably a better idea in the end. “Back To Haunt You” is a crunching track but “Lost Along The Way” made me reach for my Smartphone and select the Bic Lighter application to show my approval. It’s one of my favorites and applies as the bands “heavy ballad” and I am a sucker for those kinds of tunes. Isn’t it amazing that this is the manner in which we show that kind of love to a band instead of sporting lighters anymore like we used to? Let’s bring back that Old School practice because you don’t need to be a smoker to have a lighter.
Another winner from a different album was “High On Blue Love” which I think will get the audience singing along as well but I had to say that I did find it a little surprising with their looking to support the “Double Down” album that they only played four songs from it as opposed to making it the core of the set. They even left of the glass breaking hit of “Sonic High” which is a super catchy tune and one of the first that made me begin to pay attention to their material. Let’s face it, the band is trying to make a new audience in a new region and while they do have older stuff to showcase they are still a relative mystery to the fans on this side of the Atlantic and no one can easily fault them for sticking with a new release. It’s very different when someone like Iron Maiden delivers mostly new tunes as they get lambasted for it but a band like Naked can only move more albums and make new fans as a result. After they finished the set, I stuck around to have a beer with them and to congratulate them on a job well done. I didn’t stay too long for the other bands based on the itinerary ahead but I am sure that I will catch those folks on some other occasion. The band will be in the New York city region for the next couple of weeks and doing gigs on most of those days in order to maximize their visibility for Rock and Roll and to make this visit a career impacting one. I will be trying to hit a couple of the other shows before the band returns to Finland since they were a good entertaining time. Tomorrow I would hit the Gary Cherone Hurtsmile show at B.B. King’s which would cause me to miss the next Naked show. The next day they would head to Philly to headline the Friday slot on the first USA Trash Fest. Good luck boys.
2. I Know
5. Lost Along The Way
6. Back To Haunt You
8. High On Blue Love
The Bowery Electric doesn’t have one of the big glaring marquees like we find at Best Buy Theater or our unofficial home base of B.B. King Blues Club so the presented visual of the show poster will have to suffice for your hungry eyes.
Fans of the band might be interested in my NYC wanderings with The Muff shortly after their Big City Rebels 4 gig. We had a photographic adventure that you can enjoy easily by clicking THIS LINK.
Official Website: http://www.nakedonline.net