One year ago tonight, the first week end of the promising new year 2020, a Brooklyn “GarageBand”, “Union Street” made their debut at the great Manhattan club the “Bitter End”. The band had quickly established itself as one of Brooklyn’s rising stars with a literate, post grunge, rhythm heavy sound packed with excellent photogenic players. “Union Street” was everything I love in a modern band pre-pandemic, a Joplin like manic singer of classical range and searing, desperate energy (Annie Nirschel). A youthful and taciturn lead guitarist of great sonic power and subtlety (Nate Aspinall)
A bassist who “stood just like Bill Wyman, now I am her biggest fan”. (Cara Radon). The requisite Brooklyn hipster and classically trained pianist adding a touch of both insouciance and professional polish (Russ Stone). And for the “Bitter End” show, a fill in drummer who provided incredible swing and drive making them unmistakably a rock n roll band with his bad boy looks and James Dean persona. (Jared Pease).
The night at the “Bitter End” exemplified everything that was exciting about indie music, the sense of possibility, the aura of uncharted adventure, risk, the specter of a young band finding its voice, it’s identity.
Sadly, in little over two months from this performance the “Bitter End” would be forced to close down. Along with so many other young bands, “Union Street” would need to shelve their act since there was no place left to play. 2020 became an unfathomable nightmare scenario.
The “Bitter End” has given an opportunity to so many performers over the years. It has been an invaluable asset to the tone and quality of life in New York City.
In a way, like all bands who have played the “Bitter End”, they are a reflection of popular culture.
The “Bitter End” needs bands like “Union Street”. Bands like “Union Street” need the “Bitter End”
To donate to the Bitter End, 147 Bleeker Street, New York, New York, click here.