KYLE DUKE AND THE BROWN BAG BOYS
LIVE at Mercury Lounge NYC
Friday, September 1, 2017
by: Anna Daugstrup
Friday, September 1, 2017
by: Anna Daugstrup
On Friday September 1st, I arrived at Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side of Manhattan around 6:30 to meet with the band Daisy the Great for an interview before their show. After our interview, I went outside to pass some time before the show began. After a few minutes, I started talking to a couple standing outside next to me. The couple ended up being parents of the lead guitarist/singer in the band playing prior to Daisy the Great's set. I knew that Daisy the Great was opening for another band but I was completely unaware that there was yet another band opening before their set. I quickly became very aware.
The venue was typical spot in the city: another room with an intimate vibe. When you walk in, there's a bar to the left lining the wall of a long narrow room. Beyond the bar there were two doors opening into a room where the stage and general admission area were located. I noticed that one of these doors was open and there was a band doing a soundcheck onstage. I really didn't pay too much attention to what was going on in there and just sat by the bar for all of 30 seconds when suddenly an outrageous sound started coming from the other room. I stuck my head into the general admission area and saw the same band rocking out, having a total moment shredding some Black Sabbath. I stood there for a few minutes until I had to peel my jaw off the floor when they finished their soundcheck.
I had to find out who these crazy shredding machines were. Fortunately, I was able to grab the lead guitarist/singer’s attention right after their soundcheck and was pleasantly informed that his name was Kyle Duke and his band was called Kyle Duke and The Brown Bag Boys. They went on to play their set and throughout nearly the entire show I was in general disbelief of the way that Kyle could play the guitar. Generally after I attend a concert, I am somewhat fixated on the lead guitarist's unique style of playing; but this was so beyond that. Kyle's way of performing is essentially comparable to floating through the waves of the ocean. His entire essence on stage is loose, creating a swift mobility on stage. The looseness of his body completely illuminates his skill as a guitarist. In my opinion, a guitarist’s body language on stage inevitably projects how much of themselves they are truly putting into their performance. Suavely riding a wave and playing the guitar comparably as fast as Mr. Tony Iommi himself, Kyle undoubtedly put all of himself if not more in his performance.
What I found to be conceptually riveting about this show was the distinct way that Kyle was able to project his vocals to flow in the same wave that his body language and technique as a guitarist flow together. It was something absolutely compelling to watch, and I couldn't look away from the perfect balance on stage. In addition to the smoothness of their performance, Kyle Duke and the Brown Bag Boys put forth a lot of personality throughout the set. The Boys did appear to have a brother-like chemistry together, occasionally poking jokes at each other in-between songs. However, they also really made sure to incorporate the audience in the jokes they made at one another, showing the audience that they are exceptionally personable people.
The band also had a wild complexity in their sound. From what I heard when I initially noticed them during their soundcheck, I assumed that this band would be more of a punk rock n roll kind of gang. However, I was blindsided by the mellow, Hawaiian-sounding groove that Kyle Duke and the Brown Bag Boys projected at times. I thought that the specific way the lead guitar was played, created a liquid motion between transitions, really brought the entire mood of the performance together.
I love music because you really never know what you are going to encounter next. I went to a show to write a review for one band, and the muse was so overwhelmingly powerful that I came home with two reviews to write. I am so electrified over this experience. Kyle Duke and the Brown Bag Boys were my diamond in the rough of the night. Shine on you crazy diamonds and hit the next Kyle Duke and the Brown Bag Boys show to experience some groovy balance and wavy feels.