Friday, September 1, 2017

High Waisted Played on a Boat with Jonny Couch and Hypoluxo, 8/30/17

High Waisted

A Rock n Roll "Booze Cruise"

Ever since CoolMom and I have been together, whenever we're apart -- say I'm traveling on business, she's traveling on business, or she's on a girls-only vacation to Southeast Asia with CoolDaughter 1 --  I have trouble sleeping.

Cute, right?


Not cute.


I'm a mess. Tack a late night partying with High Waisted and a bunch of friends onto that, and boy oh boy. It was worth it, though.

Knowing this about myself, I toyed with the idea of not driving up to Manhattan to join the 4th Annual High Waisted at Sea party. But, I was on my own for the week; and I'd missed the last couple of installments because of other obligations. What the hell, right?

It turned out to be a pretty easy drive up to the Skyport Marina off of East 23rd St. in Manhattan. We lined up, and High Waisted's Jono Bernstein and Jessica Louise Dye were there to wave everyone aboard at around 6:30. It would be about an hour before the boat set off, so we all took advantage of the PBR / Deep Eddy Vodka-sponsored open bar and enjoyed the perfect weather up top.

I was a little worried about not knowing anyone aside from the band; but I ran into several familiar faces including Joy of Violent Movement's William Helms, Speak Into My Good Eye's Mikes Mehalick and Petzinger, members of Fruit and Flowers, Grim Streaker, Ted's Dead, Darkwing, and Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus. Add to that the fact that everyone on board was in a festive and friendly mood, and it turns out that my usual social anxiety was unfounded.


We pulled out maybe a little bit later than the scheduled 7:30, and it was time to head below decks for the music. Brooklyn's Hypoluxo started things off. They're kind of that post-punk, dream pop with the chimey guitars. I like that stuff, as you know; so that was a pretty nice way to start the evening.


Next up was Jonny Couch. That was a fun set. Couch and his band were campy, glam, power pop fun. It was at this point when the inflatable whale that was way too large for the space began making the rounds. I was crushed beneath it several times, and Couch rode it at one point during the set. People were hanging from the ceiling and tossing beach balls, balloons, inflatable palm trees and the more manageably-sized orca.

Jonny Couch
Jonny Couch, a whale, and lots of photogs

The space was pretty tight, so I -- and many of the other photographers -- did our thing of nerdily staking out space way before High Waisted's set even started. Jess Dye kept telling everyone, "We're not starting yet. Go get a beer." Nobody budged.

Just before the band started their set, Dye handed a huge bag of confetti to people up front and told them, "When the time is right, let the photographers know and toss it." I'm pretty sure she was showered with about 90% of the confetti before High Waisted ever played a note. I was right in the line of fire; and, two days and a few showers later, I'm still sparkling. Literally and metaphorically.

I can tilt my arm back and forth and see microscopic remnants of glitter, and I'm also just really grateful that I ended up going. High Waisted played a manic set that saw Dye and guitarist Steven Nielsen down on the floor at various points. Confetti, balloons, beach balls, and Jess Dye flew threw the air. There were a few times when, listing to one side or the other, we all remembered that we were on a boat. It got so crowded in the performance area that someone knocked the power out on bassist Richey Rose at one point.

When the live performances were done, the boat became one big dance party until pulling back into the dock.

I don't remember how I came across their debut LP, On Ludlow, a year or two ago, but I've been a huge fan of High Waisted ever since. They're a hard-working band who put a whole lot of effort into making Wednesday's cruise a special event for their friends and fans. They really know how to throw a party.

Pics are going up in the Flickr galleries and on the Facebook page.

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