Live Review: SAD at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY

Material: These six enthusiastic bandmates delivered a high energy collection of alternative rock songs (with some occasional rapping). Aptly described on their Facebook page as “Upbeat alternative rock with an undercurrent of sadness that tries to capture a nostalgia for things that never really happened,” they defy that notion with their high voltage performance. The juxtaposition of relentless sadness and disappointment with their exuberant presentation makes for an interesting mix. "God/Love/America" is a powerful rap-style piece that paints a bleak picture of our current state of affairs: “It’s Armageddon/God bless the red, black, and blue/As if our country’s pride will make up for what the heart can’t do.”

Musicianship: His voice is neither polished nor pristine, but Marcy’s vocals work well enough with the style of the material in a live setting. He is a proficient rapper and could focus more on that aspect of his talent. The band, though casual in their demeanor, is supportive and in sync with Marcy. No one musician is featured over another except a few lead lines courtesy of Crawford who serves as a quasi right-hand man to Marcy.

Performance: Marcy is a charismatic showman with some signature moves and an extroverted presentation, at times referencing Mick Jagger. In spite of the dark themes, the band convey the underlying thrill of youth. Exploring their emotional options, pushing the envelope in search of empowerment and genuine expression. The pain of growing up is something everyone experiences, but over time, one hopes those feelings are put into perspective. In an almost fashionable statement, it’s hip not to be too optimistic. The performance still rings true enough with room to expand the emotional landscape.

Summary: By exploring darker themes in the context of a performance, SAD has found a positive outlet for feelings of negativity and portrayal of an unsavory world filled with disillusionment. With youth on their side and the world as their oyster, there is room for these artists to experience a fuller spectrum of emotions while staying true to their vision.

The Players: Marlon Marcy, lead vocals; Taylor Crawford, guitar, background vocals; Matthew Serrianni, guitar, background vocals; Shane Duda, synthesizer; Andrew Williamson, drums; C-Bunz, bass.

Venue: The Knitting Factory
City: Brooklyn, NY
Contact: [email protected]