Naked @ Otto’s Shrunken Head (7/24/2011)

Our new friends in the band Naked were continuing their US “Double Down” Tour with an appearance at a venue known as Otto’s Shrunken Head down on the Lower East Side. This Tiki Bar makes for a very interesting atmosphere as there is a cool bar in the front and a performance space in the rear.  Naked had returned to the USA after their earlier in the summer visiting and were adding even more gigs to the agenda before heading back home to Finland.  I caught them last week when they played at The Bowery Electric and while there were a number of shows in between my own hectic schedule kept me from only being able to attend any of the other shows except this particular evening so here we were again.   Scroll down below to enjoy the full on concert report and other images and viewpoints that are only presented in this space.


Artist: Naked
Venue: Otto’s Shrunken Head (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 7/24/2011
Label: T-Bag Records

The New York City infiltration by Finland’s Glam Rock journeyman Naked was continuing with a stop at the Otto’s Shrunken Head bar down on the Lower East Side. I’ve been to this quirky little space a few times over the years and if you have never been there before it is worth a visit. There is a decent sized bar up in the front that makes some super powered Tiki drinks in addition to serving up the proper beers of the day. The Tiki drinks even come in cool glasses that you can purchase as souvenirs if you are sober enough to get them home safely. The read of the bar has a cool performance space which I will venture to guess can fit about 50-60 people back there if you position them good. This would be the second time that the band had visited the States in the year and for their “Double Down” Tour were hoping to clock in at maximum venue numbers before they returned home. Last week they played at the Bowery Electric which we reviewed on the site and since then had done a number of other shows that I sadly could not attend. With a city and scene like NYC around you, it is difficult to be everywhere. Here is how the show went down for those who might have missed it.

Before I get started let me explain how Otto’s is similar to venues like Arlene’s Grocery, Piano’s and some others where a number of groups are playing for their own set of fans. With that in mind there is really no headlining act but just band after band after band. People often arrive for who they are there to see and rarely remain for anyone else. The difference is that this particular show was free admission so arriving and saying that you were there for “Naked” would have gotten you some very strange looks. Before they played there was an interesting act whose name escapes and that just goes to show you that if you like something jot their name down or hit the website link immediately on your phone (provided you have Internet access of course). The band hit the stage a little later than I had planned to be around but life in New York often makes one shift their schedules and that’s fine by me at the end. I expected quite a few of the same songs to be played as the other night and I was correct in the assumption for the most part. They would open and continue with the same tunes as a couple of nights ago but switch it up for the third song with one of my personal favorites “Sonic High”. Their song “Combo” morphed several of their old songs together and I had to say that I wished some of these would have been played in full since they are so good. There was a lot of playfulness with the band in terms of their interaction with each other and sadly there was not a whole lot of people in the club outside of the dozen or so friends and curious who came out. This is to be expected on a Sunday night anywhere especially when the band is something new to people’s ears. Despite that, we who attended had a blast and a half.

As the band headed into their last couple of numbers, promoter Frank Wood came out and told us that there was a fifth member of the band who was from France. His name was “Philipe” and he was holding a bucket in his hands at the time. The clever play on words was for the assembled to help out the band by filling up the bucket. As it passed around people tossed in whatever they felt like offering up and depending on how many people you end up at a show and what they think of your performance, you could do very well. The band also had their CD “Double Down” with them and sold a bunch to those new to their sound. That is always nice to see. They played eight songs this evening which was one less than the last gig I caught but I was still satisfied until the very last note was played. Tonight was another shot in the arm for Rock and Roll and another notch in the belt of Finland’s Naked.

Sadly this would be the last show of their return tour that I would be able to attend as I would have the Black Veil Brides tomorrow while they were going to be playing somewhere else. I will keep my fingers crossed for a third go round and let you all know about it when they make their way to these parts again.

Set List:
1. Revolution
2. I Know
3. Sonic High
4. Combo
5. Powerblind
6. I Got A Feeling
7. Back To Haunt You
8. Reset

One of my favorite songs from the “Double Down” CD is “Sonic High” and I guess it reminds me of some classic, singalong kind of number from my past or something since I just took to it very quickly. Here is that tune from the show and I apologize for the darkness of the film. I had no real lighting around me or sufficient angle to get this any better. Fortunately the audio came out alright.

The band always travels with their lucky mini-mascot. A very Rocked out and worn out Barbie doll. We snapped a couple of pics of her to give her a moment in the sun.

Naked's Mascot
Naked's Mascot - Shot 2

Here’s a shot of the guys equipment for the night. I always try to snare my “Tech” shots at the gigs these days since people are always curious about what bands use to make their sound.

Naked Implements of Rock and Roll

These next two ladies hailed from Finland and had come out to the show to support their countrymen. They were on holiday and I think the one on the right said they were leaving in one or two more days. Too bad I would have enjoyed showing them a little of the city and introducing them to our own Finnish Ambassador for PiercingMetal Mr. Sammy.

Two Finnish Lovelies

Here’s the band and the Finnish Ladies.

There's Something Finnish About This Foto

After having done so much adventuring with the band of late I had to make sure to get into one of the shots with them since I was not sure when they would all be back for such a thing. I hoped soon of course since I really enjoyed their music and the company.

PiercingMetal Ken and the band Naked

This next shot was interesting and features a famous N.Y.C. scene face as Mr. Leee Black Childers was at the bar tonight so I made sure to snap a photo of him with the guys in the band. Of course Muff opted to get in the way of the shot so let’s try that again shall we.

Naked and Leee Black Childers - Shot 1

This time around I got Lee in the shot but the guys were distracted by someone else taking a photo. Gentlemen, always remember the working media presence in the room is the shot you want to make work the most……sigh. I suppose this was better than nothing.

Finland's Naked and Leee Black Childers - Take 2

When you are in a Rock & Roll band you know that press is important, and this little blurb was found in the latest issue of the New York Waste newspaper. It’s a Lower East Side focused music and life newspaper.  If you need a comparison think of East Coast Rocker.

Naked's "Double Down" in New York Waste

Here are some of the venue shots for your indulgence. I’ll start with the facade and then hit the back space where the bands perform.

Outside Of Otto's Shrunken Head

Here’s the drums marquee.  They have a back line at the venue but you do need to bring a couple of things along with you like a snare drum and cymbals if you are the drummer.

Otto's Bass Drum Head

This banner showcases the promoter Frank Wood and I had to say that it was pretty cool.  I am all about branding when it comes to media and this worked in my opinion.

Frank Wood Crossbones Banner

There are several Tikis around the venue and bar.  Here is one of them.

A Tiki from Otto's Shrunken Head

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