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Beverly – NYC Popfest @ Cake Shop (New York, NY) – Thursday, May 28, 2015

26 June 2015

Photos by Mark Suppanz

Though I adored this Brooklyn group’s 2014 debut LP Careers, this headlining slot for night #1 of the eighth annual NYC Popfest event was my first time seeing them live (however, I did witness Beverly guitarist/vocalist Drew Citron play keyboards in the revamped lineup of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart last year at Williamsburg’s Rough Trade). Originally a side project of Avan Lava’s Citron and ex-Crystal Stilts/Vivian Girls/Dum Dum Girls drummer Frankie Rose, Citron’s been tweaking the lineup since Rose moved to her native L.A. following the album’s recording. This show found the fetching frontwoman – who looked stylish and statuesque in an Asian-inspired red dress and topknot hair bun – flanked by three formidable male bandmates, including Johnny Aries of The Drums (who Beverly has toured with; they also recently covered that band’s “Best Friend” in a Brooklyn x Brooklyn live session) and main member Scott Rosenthal on guitar and bass. And while I don’t know the name of the drummer, he infused each tune with a burly, bashing beat.

Drew Citron

The trio of songs they showcased from Careers – i.e., the surf-licked opener “You Can’t Get it Right,” happy-go-lucky “Out On a Ride,” and dreamy “Honey Do” – all profited from the forceful foursome’s potent punch and Citron’s spirited, sweetly-lilted singing. But I was equally knocked out by the batch of (presumably) new and/or unfamiliar songs they played, which dominated the set. Each seemed patterned after Careers’ faster, more harder-rocking side, giving their set an invigorating and propulsive, Dum Dum Girls-like drive that never waned. For example, one of those numbers, entitled “Contact” on the band’s printed setlist, had a dramatic, ’80s-esque post-punk feel. Meanwhile, “You Said It” was melancholy yet melodic power-pop, and “Bulldozer” sizzled with a rapid-fire, punky edge. But the best of the bunch was the sparkling, soaring closer “Crooked Cop,” which Citron announced would be on their next album (in the meantime, you can bask in this video of them performing the catchy “Crooked” the previous month in Baltimore). Not only did Beverly ensure Popfest began with a bang, but they aroused our anxious appetites for another album, ASAP. ✪

Upcoming Beverly dates:
6/29 DC9 – Washington, DC
6/30 Great Scott – Boston, MA
7/1 Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
7/2 Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA
7/11 Riis Park Beach Bazaar – Queens, NY
7/22 Brillobox – Pittsburgh, PA
7/23 MOTR Pub – Cincinnati, OH
7/24 The Loving Touch – Ferndale, IL
7/25 Wicker Park Festival – Chicago, IL
7/26 Mahall’s – Lakewood, OH