Arts and Entertainment

The Brooklyn Living Gallery Hosts Independent Bands

The Living Gallery’s September 18 concert was a showcase of raw local talent and fantastic rock bands.

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The Living Gallery sticks out like a sore thumb in Bushwick. With its colorful front wall plastered with spray paint tags and cult induction stickers, the venue’s exterior mirrors the life within. The Living Gallery is a multifunctional space for creators to showcase their art, regardless of the medium—the gallery could turn into a makeshift museum or music hall depending on the day. In one of the venue’s more recent concerts on September 18, local bands such as Autumn Rhythm, Cellarhead, and Matter of Minutes played to a densely packed crowd of sweaty high schoolers. Even anosmia could not negate the tangible coating of perspiration that wafted over the crowd. One bug-eyed Turkish kid with a mullet insisted on wearing their leather jacket the entire time despite the Saharan climate. Poor ventilation compounded the olfactory nuisance into a safety hazard. Still, the dim lighting and unbridled fun of the performers made the odor almost charming.

The set began with Matter of Minutes, an indie rock band with four equally adorable members. The two guitarists stood out as memorable performers, both smiling throughout the set and carrying their jovial attitude into fantastic solos. Matter of Minutes did a spectacular job pumping up the crowd, which went from a deadbeat headbangs to full jumps and flails. Doc Marten loafers smashed against Demonika combat boots as mosh pits formed for nearly every song. Some cuts sounded like an age-of-the-internet Weezer, while others—especially the summery scat-chorus of “Letter to Home”—came off as more Rex Orange County. The crowd was brought to life over the course of Matter of Minutes’s set, and after closing with a slower song, the band joined the crowd.

Next was Cellarhead, a Beacon High School punk band whose sound lands somewhere between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Crass. Despite the collective heatstroke, Cellarhead kept the crowd’s energy up with a mix of driving hardcore punk songs laced with infectious bass licks and a lot of shouting. The lead singer had a phenomenal stage presence (and really good hair), getting the crowd to crouch down with them at one bassline breakdown and come back up for a pit to form. Their drummer also stood out with multiple solos and lightning-quick breaks. Out of all the bands, the most kids moshed to Cellarhead; their sheer energy was simply contagious. After several sweat pools had accumulated and Cellarhead ended their set, Autumn Rhythm took the mic.

With shirts coming off left and right (the drummer and guitarist both went bare-chested for most of the set), Autumn Rhythm slowed the pace of the concert with cute Flock of Seagulls-esque guitar licks and an even cuter dreamy lead singer with hair like an Afghan Hound. Though not as intense or wild as Cellarhead, the band created an unmistakable atmosphere with each song. “Staring In” was a particular highlight, with fast-paced drums and light vocals that even had the previously-terrified leather jacket kid jumping. Their set continued with several fantastic buildups to lovely indie rock riffs and so much onstage chemistry. The guitarist and singer hit some Elvis shimmy moves together and the drummer was an absolute soldier through the heat. The closing track, “Paper Lanterns,” was a beautiful conclusion, with a slower ballad and a mantric refrain of “come back around.” They were the leather jacket person’s favorite band.

Each band showed authentic talent and seemed incredibly excited to play at the Living Gallery, making for a serotonin-injected fever dream. Through the scalding sweat, rattling chains, and moshpit shoves, the show was raw and electrifying. Many of the bands will return to the Gallery again for an upcoming Halloween concert and costume party, and hopefully countless more concerts in the future.