2Cellos @ Le Poisson Rouge (7/28/2011)

I’ve said this before and I shall say it again.  There is always something exciting going on in NYC and there is really no shortage of talented people out there delivering some amazing music.  If you’re one of those folks who feels that there is nothing good going on, then I suggest that you keep these views to yourself and enjoy your monitoring of the world via Facebook instead of braving the real scene around you.  It is your own loss and not that of the investigate music fans of the world.  That being said, tonight’s adventure would find me getting a double dose of coolness as I was not only checking out a new group but also a new venue.  The Croatian cellist duo that calls themselves 2Cellos would be performing at an album release party.  It seems as though the boys had just been signed to Sony Masterworks and their debut release was coming out today or maybe it had just come out.  Either way, the line to the venue Le Poisson Rouge was around the corner and the show was only about thirty minutes away.  To read the full concert article and enjoy the photos just scroll on down past the logo. I also added a couple of side images for the readers to enjoy and they can be viewed further down in this blog posting.


Artist: 2Cellos
Venue: Le Poisson Rouge (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 7/28/2011
Label: Sony Masterworks

Tonight was going to be one of those nights where I would be walking into a venue with a completely blank slate in terms of my expectations and I have to admit that sometimes this is really awesome to find being the case. Let me explain a little further about what I mean because there were two parts to this mindset when it came to this particular night. The first and probably the most important aspect would be the performers and their name was 2Cellos. All I knew going in was that they were a YouTube sensation and that they did their thing on the cellos. Also that there was two of them. Since I have been a reasonably long follower of Apocalyptica (who are the Finnish Symphonic Metal band that also do their thing on the cello) I definitely found this premise interesting and was happy to be asked to cover what amounted to their debut CD release gig. The other exciting part was that I was seeing the group perform in a new space to my music journalist adventuring. I had wanted to see Agalloch perform here a few months ago but wasn’t able to secure a ticket and hence missed the whole thing. The space itself was a luxurious looking one and there were tables and seats everywhere. I guess they move this stuff around for the heavier acts but tonight this was an all seated show unless you found a small space to lean against off to the sides. Here’s how the night went down.

As I wandered the room I learned that many people were from the bands record company but there were also a healthy score of fans who have been interested in them for some time. The group hails from Croatia and is made up of Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser and they were discovered on YouTube after loading up a clip of them doing Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”. Since I had not yet heard a note from the band I was getting more anxious by the minute and as I finished an ice cold beverage the guys hit the stage. They opened up with Guns ‘N Roses “Welcome To The Jungle” and it was really interesting to hear how they transposed the tune. I liked what I was hearing of course and these two could play. There was nothing lame or boring about it. It was exciting and very, very new in a manner of speaking. Green Day’s “Time Of Your Life” came up next and while I love this tune it might have been fun to hear them do “American Idiot” given that play’s overall success. During the song you could have heard a pin drop as the audience was totally focused on what was happening on the stage. It was like being at a Carnegie Hall recital and I guess in some sense that is exactly what we were enjoying. Some Red Hot Chili Peppers was dished out with “Californication” (never one of my favorite tunes but it seemed to work well on cellos) and then they spoke to the crowd saying how they seem to need new bows every couple of songs based on how they are playing. It was amusing. They dedicated U2’s “With Or Without You” to the ladies in the audience and it was met with approval and then it was on to the tune that helped their meteoric rise in the first place, the late great Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”. This was a great tune on its own and there are some sweet notes delivered via the bows on the cellos thanks to the guys. Two words – it worked.

After finishing “Smooth Criminal” it was time to pay a visit to the Seattle side with the groups take on Grunge heroes Nirvana as they delivered “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. I can hardly believe that the world first heard that song twenty years ago but additional views about that are for a different review. From here on in, it seemed the night was going to stick to the rock ‘em sock ‘em material. You were not going to get an argument from me on that. The familiar notes of an ACDC tune began and suddenly the light flared behind the guys to show that drummer Tommy Price was sitting on the kit and then it was on as “Shook Me All Night Long” began. The crowd was no longer quiet and many were singing along at the appropriate time. This tune does not appear on the album so I was really happy to find something a little out of left field being offered up. After the rousing applause was back to a quiet lull the guys began their rendition of “Highway To Hell” which of course is another ACDC tune and another that you will NOT find on the band’s debut. I am going to cross my fingers and hope that whenever the bands sequel release comes out that it will have these tunes along with a number of other Metal standards being offered up. That would please me very much and likely find them winning over the Apocalyptica crowd as well. Once the tune ended the guys thanked the audience and Tommy and they left the stage. Could that be it I wondered and of course I was wrong as one more number would be delivered in Sting’s hit “Fields Of Gold”. I had to say that I wish someone contacted me about set list preparation because while Sting’s song is a fine number and a big hit, it is a bit of a snoozer after two very rousing ACDC numbers.

Sadly this would really be the end of the bands gig and I was a little surprised because it was rather short. I would say not longer than 45 minutes if it was even that long. Having never seen them before I was unsure of how long their shows usually are so perhaps this is all we get when you snare a ticket for their show. After they left the stage they walked out to the merchandise area where hundreds of copies of their new CD were ready to be purchased and the guys remained to talk to anyone who wanted to meet them and to sign their CD booklet or snap a photo with them. All in all this was a great night and I wish the band well in their career. I look forward to seeing them again and will suggest that you do the same. Oh yeah and if you happen to be one of those gear head kind of people, the guys in 2Cellos use Yamaha Electric Cellos SVC-110 and a TC Electronics Nova Pedal Board. Now you can go out and get your own, master the cello, put yourself up on YouTube and cause me additional work when you become a sensation. It’s that easy 

One more closing thought on the venue Le Poisson Rouge. This was a beautiful place and the sound was really good for this group. I would love to come here again for something that was a little louder and a bit more raucous to see how different the layout and vibe is. Will I come to a show here again? Sure thing, you betcha.

Set List:
1. Welcome To The Jungle (Guns ‘N Roses)
2. The Time Of Your Life (Green Day)
3. Californication (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
4. With Or Without You (U2)
5. Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson)
6. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
7. Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
8. Highway To Hell (AC/DC)
9. Fields Of Gold (Sting)

The guys had a ton of CD’s available for sale, and Sony Masterworks is very behind this album to say the least.  The stack was almost a piece of art unto itself.


Get 'Em While They're Hot

The albums were ready to be sold to you with a smile by the charming merchandise girls.  The one on the left told me that she played the cello as well.

2Cellos Merch Girls

The guys were also available to meet their fans and sign the newly purchased CD’s.  Here is a shot of them.


2Cellos: Stejpan Hauser & Luka Sulic


Official Website: www.2cellos.com

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