The Studio at Webster Hall, New York, NY
August 9th, 2012
Concert Review: Otherwise at Webster Hall
The unique setting of an intimate rock show is something to be experienced. It’s rarified air to get up close and personal with any band, watching each nuance of musicianship from mere feet away. The Studio at Webster Hall has been hosting shows for up and coming artists for years and Thursday night’s bill was no exception. Las Vegas hard rock outfit Otherwise stood atop the stacked lineup in their first headlining gig in Manhattan, with support from bands Janus and Red Line Chemistry. Their abbreviated but pummeling set showed but a glimpse of the virtues of this quickly rising quartet.
Otherwise led by frontman Adrian Patrick bounded onto the stage with a purpose, wasting little time in jolting into their relentless opener “Die For You.” The short, but effective 45 minute set played as a showcase of tunes from their breakout debut album, “True Love Never Dies.” Intensity was the word of the evening as the band paced around the stage, periodically pointing at fans in the crowd. Songs like “Lighthouse” and “Vegas Girl” demonstrated what the band does best- creating traditional hard rock music in the truest form of the genre and matching catchy rhythmic lyrics with ruthless rock riffs that give a sense of what’s been missing from the rock scene. It’s almost a travesty that Otherwise has come along in 2012 as opposed to a decade earlier as they would have blended in seamlessly with so many of the successful rock acts that came before them. Unfortunately, the current state of modern rock music is such that finding fans today is perhaps as difficult as any time in the storied history of the genre, which would explain such a diminutive crowd on hand for such a solid lineup of bands on this night.
But despite all that, Otherwise is a band that has emerged from real tragedy and if there were 40 people in the crowd or 4,000, the band was headlining a show in New York City, which fueled their collective energy on stage. The jukebox of satellite radio ready rock singles from their first full length release spewed from the speakers as each member of the band approached the very tip of the stage to unify with the fans on hand. At times Patrick could be seen nearly going into the crowd as he sang to the diehards meeting his eyes upfront.
The barrage of uplifting, emotional, and headbanging live cuts carried us late into the evening. Songs “Lighthouse” and “Full Circle” continued to amp up the intimate crowd, most of whom had brews lifted high in the air as their heads pounded along to every drum kick. Guitarist Ryan Patrick carried out face melting solos with precision, filling every non-previously written note with a sonic tapestry of hard rock improvisation. After playing a solid chunk of the album, it was time to close out the night with the familiar single that has put the band on the map. And after a brief speech praising those serving overseas, Patrick led the band into “Soldiers.” The song demands a live crowd sing along and that’s exactly what the band received right back from most of us in the house.
The story of how the band managed to get recognized is both interesting and inspiring at once. It is a tale of persistence, dedication, and unbridled passion. Their songs are the consequence of their collective heartbreak, while their success is a celebration of their triumph. The band is Otherwise. And with any luck, this is just their beginning.
Make sure to check in with us right here at LocalBozo.com next week and watch our exclusive pre-show interview with Otherwise frontman Adrian Patrick. We discuss how the band got signed, headlining a show in New York City, the trials and tribulations in getting to this point, and their special bond with their fans.
- Jay Rubin & Jane Van Arsdale