Given the chance to attend the last night of the Ars Nova 54/10 Music festival this past Saturday, I jumped at it. I have been meaning to get to this venue on 54th St near 10th Ave for a long while but kept making excuses. The place is beautiful and very professional, not what I expected. That is probably the reason I had not been there yet but boy was I missing out.
The lineup for the closing night included The Weight Boys Band, Pig Pen Theater Co, and Die Roten Punkte. I ran a little late and unfortunately only caught the end of The Weight Boys Band’s set. What I did hear sounded good and from the reaction of the crowd it must have been quite a performance.
Next was the Pig Pen Theater Co. They are more well known in the off-broadway community for their amazing plays but this was just a performance by the band offshoot. Let me just say right off the bat, I was blown away by the musicianship of the six members of the band. The wide range of instruments from banjo to accordion to piano were swapped back and forth by bandmembers who each knew very well how to handle each instrument. The vocals were amazing too, including full six part harmonies that you rarely see from a band performing a rock show. The songs were phenomenal and intriguing stories as the crowd was silent paying attention to the lyrics to see where the story would go. I recommend checking them out for yourself at: www.pigpentheatre.com
The last performer of the Ars Nova festival was Die Roten Punkte, a band I have been hearing about but had not yet had the privilege of seeing live. They are a musical-comedy duo from Germany that has won more than their share of awards for everything from caberet to comedy. Die Roten Punkte is definitely a band you must see live to truly appreciate. Their style of interesting punk rock music intertwined with jokes that everyone can love make them quite an interesting show. From the arguing back and forth to the short sing-a-long songs I was in love at first sight. It is tough to even put their show into words but you can get a taste at: www.dierotenpunkte.com
Overall it was a great experience and I recommend everyone checking out the bands and more importantly the Ars Nova venue that is a rare place where the artists are free to perform unique shows without fear of being banned from the venue.
More About Ars Nova:
Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Its unique development programs are designed to support outside-the-box thinking and encourage innovative, genre-bending work. By providing a safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work. Ars Nova is a 501(C)(3) Not-For-Profit Organization.