Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, Bronze Radio Return is not your usual run-of-the-mill indie rock group. For starters, the band consists of six different members and makes use of both the harmonica and the banjo. Even if you didn’t know this, their one-of-a-kind style was apparent when you walked into the Bowery Ballroom on Sunday night and saw a rainbow fence encircling keyboardist Matt Warner. Lead singer Chris Henderson did much to compensate for the less than packed room, encouraging audience participation for quite a few songs. Starting out with “Further On”, fans in the first few rows weren’t shy about showing their appreciation, dancing enthusiastically and throwing their arms in the air. Their sound is more pop than rock, heavy on the crashing cymbals and more than a few “whoa-oh-oh” choruses. This doesn’t translate to anything remotely cheesy, however – the band is convincing and their music is legitimately fun to listen to. With over two million streams on Spotify, “Up, On & Over” is one of their best-known songs and it’s likely that you’ve heard it before, even if you didn’t immediately recognize Bronze Radio Return themselves. Performed live, it packs a punch that instantly encouraged everyone to sing along – its crescendo is completely infectious and deserves the privilege of being heard in a space capable of holding more than 600 people. Patrick Fetkowitz and Craig Struble also did us the honor of a guitar-harmonica duo respectively, and the entire room went silent as we stared in awe. They ended their encore with radio-ready hit “Shake, Shake, Shake”, encouraging one last dance party and making that particular Sunday night feel a lot more like a Friday.
Opening for Bronze Radio Return was Brothers McCann, consisting of Pat and Mike McCann as well as Erik White. Their music is mostly carried by an acoustic guitar and their three absolutely incredible voices, giving the audience a reason to completely fall in love with folk rock. They performed a jaw-dropping acapella version of The Beatles‘ “Something”, as if the dynamic range displayed in their original songs wasn’t impressive enough itself. The simplicity of their setup allowed their raw talent to shine through, and New York was lucky to witness it. Brothers McCann and Bronze Radio Revival are hidden gems, but for those who took a chance and came out to see them, they were rewarded with a phenomenal live performance.