On The List :: Free Energy @ Brooklyn Bowl [1.22.10]

Historically speaking, Brooklyn Bowl is situated on a block that Eastern European immigrants built and is now home to a graveyard of low-lying and almost forgotten brick, industrial architecture. It hearkens back to a place that Williamsburg used to be, a place that almost does not exist anymore. Inside Brooklyn Bowl, Free Energy, the long-drive from Philly, took the stage in front of a crowd, loosely packed back to the bar. The band, a mixture of winking and willful influences to rock's Golden Age of the 1970s, took the stage with a languid confidence, both thrown back in time and very much in the present.

With only a four-song EP, Free Energy quickly dove into material from their coming full length, Stuck On Nothing. Soon-to-be first single, "Bang Pop," a stomping and instantly memorable cut hung in the middle of the set like a vicious linchpin. Lead singer, Paul Sprangers, in the simplest of grey sweatshirts, strutted around the stage like a wiry drum major, leading the crowd through the eponymous chorus, "Bang bang/pop pop." It was rife with classic rock derivation but, at the moment, no one seemed to notice. In the closing moments, the band played "Free Energy," with its seminal battle cry of youth, "We are young and still alive/now the time is on our side," and "Something In Common," with a 4/4 time signature and enough inclusive language to make us feel like we had been through something, together.

It was perhaps, a night of ignoring disjoints: A bowling alley with a music venue inside of it, a neighborhood, both old and desperately new, and a band, with regard for the past, making music they are confident is enduring. Though it sounded like 40 years ago, we were still young and we were certainly alive. Time wasn't necessarily on our side but it had been successfully removed from the equation.

Listen :: Free Energy - "Something In Common"

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