Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Dec 12th 2009 2:00PM by DJ Lanphier
Known for their tight playing, British Invasion-influenced pop riffs and darkly melodic vocals, Rooney did not disappoint. Early in the set singer Schwartzman reached out to the audience through the incense smoke and shouted: "Hey New York! Are you afraid?" The band launched into their version of 80s gothic pop with 'Are You Afraid?' taken from their second album, 'Calling the World.'
The Los Angeles-based quintet, which also includes guitarist Taylor Locke, keyboardist Louie Stephens and bass player Matt Winter, covered a lot of musical territory in an hour and a half. The country- and folk-influenced title track of their recent EP 'The Wild One' dovetailed nicely into the quirky 60s guitar attack of 'I'm A Terrible Person,' taken from their eponymous debut album. The evening then took on an air of Rooney history lesson as they tore into the biting, angry vengeance of the rarely played 'Popstars,' then topped it off with a commanding version of the 70s power pop throwback 'Paralyzed.'
Sounding a bit apologetic and wistful mid-set, Schwartzman explained that Rooney had recently finished a new album that would not be released until the spring of 2010. He quickly added that they would definitely be returning on a tour, which was met with loud screams of approval, particularly from the young women in the crowd.
Rooney's sun- and fun-drenched pop is an infectious mix of sweetness and brooding darkness. On Friday, it also served as a much-needed respite from the cold New York weather.