The Marlin Room at Webster Hall is the venue’s second-largest stage space, and on Friday night it played host to a folk rock band known as The Ludlow Thieves. Among the seven people onstage were frontman Dan Musengo, singer Laura Martin, as well as a keyboardist and a violinist plus the usual guitar and drums. Their sound is pure Americana, the kind of music you’d want to hear at a bonfire or on a cross-country road trip. They’ve released two EPs to date with a third one dropping on December 18th, and their set rounded out all of them beautifully. Musengo’s voice is raspy in the best sense of the word, giving the songs a grittier edge while complementing Martin’s more demure one. Visually, the band was extremely entertaining – Musengo drank whiskey straight from the bottle, Martin shook a heart-shaped tambourine, and Amanda Lo played her violin with such a fixation she had the entire room fully entranced. The rest of the band provided the necessary groundwork for what was, simply put, a stellar live performance. The Ludlow Thieves are as diverse as their audience, and thankfully this translates into some very unique yet downright amazing music. Working with seven people other than you might be overwhelming to some, but their energy and charisma onstage is wholly evident – they’re far more than the sum of their parts. The band’s jangly rhythm and simple but heartfelt lyrics are enough to win anyone over, but especially New York on a Friday night.
Opening for The Ludlow Thieves were the explosive Cosmic Coronas, fronted by Alexa Corona and Tom, who doubled as an MC. The electric guitar whined and the drums hit hard as they launched into power anthem after power anthem, upping the energy in the room until it felt like it might spill over. Ranging in age from 20- to 40-something, it was clear from the very beginning that a band like this one doesn’t come along every day. Each song built upon the last, showcasing their talents and convincing us that they were a force to be reckoned with. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they closed out their set with back-to-back covers of AC/DC‘s “Back in Black” and The White Stripes‘ “Seven Nation Army”, outdoing themselves entirely. The Cosmic Coronas aren’t headlining Webster Hall yet, but from the looks of it they’re not far away.