1/2 Naked in Concert (3/17/2012)

It’s been awhile since we’ve found our no longer new Finnish friends in Naked doing a New York City gig so when the chance to check them out once more came up I was very happy to participate in the fun. It was St. Patrick’s Day in New York and you can read that as overall mayhem and serious drinking that leaves people numb for a couple of days afterward. It’s honestly not a day that I generally head into the city, but since I needed to be there for the evening’s Hank 3 show, I replied to the text from “The Muff” and said that he could count on our coverage. What better way to celebrate one’s Irish heraldry than with some good old fashioned Finnish Glam Rock. The interesting thing about this show was that it would be held at the Riff Clothing store and be a “stripped down” version of the band (meaning only The Muff and his other guitarist Zack Schleidecker). Please click the logo below to see the full on concert report and enjoy the photos taken, but then get back to this blog posting to enjoy the side images from the event and some video that was taken.

Click Logo To Read The Concert Review

Artist: ½ Naked
Venue: Riff Clothing (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 3/17/2012
Label: T-Bag Records

Written By: Ken Pierce (copyright 2012) for PiercingMetal.com

Today was Saint Patrick’s Day and while I initially planned on staying as far away from the Big Apple as was humanly possible, I instead ended up using the day to do some coverage of the free Hank 3 show that was going to happen at the Gramercy Theatre later on in the evening. While preparing my camera gear and making sure that the trusty Smartphone was updated with some preliminary notes, a text from our Finnish friend in music, the one and only Muff appears on the screen. Apparently, he and fellow Naked guitarist Zack Schleidecker were doing some stripped down gigs and this afternoon at Riff Clothing would be one of them. Riff Clothing is a new store located in the space formerly used by the Morrison Hotel gallery which was formerly the C.B.G.B.’s Gallery in case you were wondering. With the start time being 4pm for their set I had to get a move on and fortunately I would arrive at the very second the guys were starting their set.

Initially I thought that this would be an acoustic presentation but it was electric and that found the songs to be very close to what they sound like with the full band doing them. They started off with “Got A Feeling” and followed that with “Sonic High”. The latter being a tune that was written about New York City. “I Know” would precede “Powerblind” and that was a song that The Muff described as being their version of Cheap Trick meets Abba. For this set the guys were seated on a zebra patterned couch way in the back of the shop. There was even a drum kit behind them which found me thinking that the full on command of the Naked band could foreseeably do a regular gig here if they wanted to. The crowd was sadly on the small side but good enough for a Saturday afternoon on a day where the larger part of the city is only focused on getting trashed beyond belief. The Muff kept the gathered folks engaged and talked to them periodically. One of the stories he lined out before “High On Blue Love” was how he had written the tune the day after taking Viagra. Pretty funny stuff.

Before “Hallelujah” The Muff told the fans that while the song was named this often thought of religious term, that they were not a Christian band and it was not a religious song. I have to say that one or two of the lines in there would make a person think otherwise but it’s just clever wordplay and not soap box preaching. The set was a brief one and ran only eight numbers but it was free and it was a nice day to be out doing anything so who could argue with that. Muff said how their last song “Revolution” was one of their first singles but I do not recall what album he said it came from. All I own is their super fun “Double Down” release. After the show Zack and The Muff stopped to talk to the friends who had come out and to meet the new fans that had wandered in. There is a lot of cool stuff to see at Riff Clothing and it’s owned by Andy Hilfiger (the brother of the internationally famous Tommy). I did a quick browse and some stuff seemed nice and cheap while other items were a bit more pricy. I admired the collection of Rock books that were for sale and the fact that they were playing Led Zeppelin on the turntable when the show by Naked, err “1/2 Naked” was over. Yes, I did say turntable. Remember those?

One of the shop staffers told me that there are shows like this often and I would love to catch some more of them if the schedule allows me the chance to do it. That’s a cool idea in my book. Anything that keeps the Rock and Roll spirit alive works for me. Now I would take my leave of the guys and head further uptown for something to eat and maybe drink on this fine St. Patrick’s Day, wandering the city as a sober Rick Grimes amidst The Walking Drunks. Wish me luck, Hank 3 was on at 9pm and I had hours to go.

Set List:
1. Got A Feeling
2. Sonic High
3. I Know
4. Powerblind
5. Reset
6. High On Blue Love
7. Hallelujah
8. Revolution

Official Website: www.nakedofficial.net

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I shot a couple of videos with the ever trusty Panasonic Lumix to make sure that more of the bands fans would be able to enjoy the very intimate appearance. The first clip is “Sonic High” which I have mentioned is one of my favorite tunes by the band from their “Double Down” CD.

I also snared the guys doing “High On Blue Love” which Muff had just told the story about his trying Viagra and coming up with this song. Sigh. Musicians.  It still made for a funny tale.

After the set was done I snared some candid shots of The Muff and Zack. Sometimes The Muff was paying attention and sometimes Zack. It was casual and worked just the same.

1/2 Naked: Zack and The Muff
1/2 Naked: Zack and The Muff
1/2 Naked: Zack and The Muff
1/2 Naked: Zack and The Muff

Now let’s take a look at some of the wonderful musical toys that let these guys do their thing.  First up is the stuff of The Muff.

Muff's Guitar and Amp

and now Zack’s axe.  Hey that rhymes……

Zack's Guitar

A good batch of effects are always nice to have around in a Rock and Roll band, and The Muff had a couple.

The Muff's Effects

Zack on the other hand had quite a few more.  He told me that he made the silver one that is seen in the center….

Zack's Effects

Let’s check out some of the other stuff that I saw at the show.  Here is the show poster.  The store managers would later have the guys sign a copy of this.

The Show Poster

In the event you wondered whose guitar case this was, the answer is very clear.

The Muff's Guitar Case

Thanks to the advances of technology, the entire show was being recorded via iPhone.  I did a couple of clips myself with the Panasonic Lumix that you saw earlier in the blog posting.

Recorded For Your Viewing Pleasure

These boots were made for rocking.

The Boots of The Muff

There were some new fans for the bands music as we found with this cool group of St. Patrick’s Day revelers.   3/4’s of them made sure to tell me that they were NOT Irish.  I will not hold that against them.

1/2 Naked Fans

Since they stopped their own adventuring to support the band, I made sure to capture a shot of them with the guys.

1/2 Naked Fans with 1/2 Naked

Riff Clothing seems to be a cool place, so I asked one of their staff, the lovely Vicky, to pose by some drums.  Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick” was playing at the time and that was what kicked off the idea.

Riff Clothing's Vicky

I needed some horns from the lass of course since this is a largely Metal site.  Look closely at the image, there is a slight illusion going on.

Riff Clothing's Vicky

Vicky and Rick of Riff Clothing give the PiercingMetal Man a curious glance.

Riff Clothing's Vicky and Rick

After the band finished they brought out some really awesome sugar cookies.  I had a couple and loved each and every bite. Oh yes and let me not forget to showcase a quick visual of the storefront so you know about it.

Riff Clothing NYC

Riff Clothing Cookies

 Now it was time for me to brave the city streets and head uptown.  My plan was to find a space for a pint of some kind and some food but not to overdo it.  I still had a show to cover at 9pm.  As I said in the concert review, this part of my day was like being in an episode of “The Walking Drunk”, err I mean “Dead”.

Outside McSorley's 3/17/12

Lines of green at every glance.  Step wisely and carefully lest some green beer get on your leather.

Outside Bull McCabe's 3/17/12

There were a ton of pub crawls going on today.  I was glad to see the bars doing so well.

Outside Pete's Tavern 3/17/12

and then……….


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