reCAP :: The Record Company :: The Capitol Theatre :: 2019.04.05

Apr 08  / Monday
Words by Jordan Becker Photos by Geoff Tischman

It was party night at The Cap on Friday, as a sold-out house celebrated The Peak’s (107.1 FM) 15th Birthday and honored its mission to bring “World Class Rock for New York’s Backyard.” The fun began with Peak DJs broadcasting from Garcia’s and delicious free food from Tarrytown’s Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

Then it was time to move into the big room for the festivities to kick off. After an intro from The Peak’s Coach and other staffers (complete with birthday cake), the music started with Bailen, a new band featuring three siblings originally from Morningside Heights: 22 year-old Julia Bailen on guitar and vocals, her 27 year-old twin brothers Daniel on bass and vocals and David on drums and vocals, augmented by childhood friend Pierre Piscitelli on keyboards. Their debut album, Thrilled to Be Here, won’t be released until April 26, but their first single, “I Was Wrong,” is already getting strong airplay on The Peak and other stations. Featuring the group’s signature sibling harmonies, the live performance of that song was one of the highlights of the evening. Other memorable moments included the sweet love song, “Something Tells Me,” and “Going on a Feeling,” for which Julia switched to an electric guitar and displayed some impressive chops in a wailing solo. They ended their set with the acoustic “25 For The Last Time,” showcasing the three singers’ harmonies over Daniel’s beautiful guitar picking.

After a short break, and more from The Peak’s Coach (and a cardboard cutout of area radio legend Jimmy Fink), The Record Company took the stage with a crunching version of “Baby I’m Broken.” If you haven’t heard The Record Company, although if you are reading this, you probably have, and want to know what they sound like, take your musical blender, toss in all of the great bluesmen (including the ones that only that one obsessive friend of yours knows about), add in a generous helping of early Rolling Stones, a bit of pre-MTV ZZ Top, a whiff of Led Zeppelin, and a sprinkling of bands like The Stooges, The Black Keys and The White Stripes, and you might approximate the sound. But what makes The Record Company great to see live is their no-frills approach (except for a great light show), incredible energy, passion, and strong musicianship. As drummer Mark Cazorla once said, “We want to be known as the best live band on Earth, and the only way to do that is to believe it.”

Cazorla, joined by guitarist and lead vocalist Chris Vos and bassist/vocalist Alex Stiff, relentlessly rocked the Cap, playing song after song that had the crowd dancing and singing along. It is hard to pick favorites, but a few standouts, to me, were “Off The Ground,” “Life To Fix,” “Make It Happen,” and an anthemic “You And Me Now.” About halfway through the set, Vos acknowledged the beauty and history of The Cap, and in its honor, the band launched into a cover of the Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie,” with Cazorla switching from drums to play some great boogie-woogie piano (the drums were covered by the band’s guitar tech, Johnny, who also filled in occasionally on guitar and tambourine during the show).

Listening to The Record Company, it was easy to think of them as one of the world’s great bar bands who has graduated to the big time. As Vos noted at one point, the band was awed by playing a sold-out show at the legendary Cap, and that it was only a few years ago that they would have been thrilled to play a room with 20 people. His gratitude to the fans was sincere, and the feeling was mutual.

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