Laura Stevenson Played Shea Stadium w/ Chris Farren & Crying

Former Bomb the Music Industry! Member Laura Stevenson played her second NYC area show at Shea Stadium (4/29). While the first show at Mercury Lounge saw the singer joined with the addition of Anika Pyle (frmr Chumped, currently in Katie Ellen), the Shea show saw Fake Problems’ Chris Farren (who celebrated a birthday that day) and Purchase chiptune punk rockers Crying.

Chris Farren took to the stage, armed with a guitar, ripping through his solo tracks like “Where U Are”, before delving into tracks from his main group and side project Antarctigo Vespucci which features Jeff Rosenstock and Laura Stevenson, with whom Farren performed a track off the album “Soulmate Stuff” with. As a native of Naples, FL (a mere hour drive away from my hometown of Davie), the track “Don’t Die In Yr Hometown” the singer speaks to a definite suburban sensibility having performed with other natives of Nassau county.

With their most recent release “Patriot” having dropped in 2015, Run For Cover signed trio Crying have developed far more as a live act since their first LP “Get Olde Second Wind” dropped in 2014. Singer Elaiza Santos is also active in other projects, including the polar opposite Whatever, Dad and the even more minimal 100% whose lack of search-engine accessibility allows Santos’ cathartic lyrics and vocals to work more in tandem. Whereas in Crying, the mix may not necessarily allow their voice its moments to shine as much, due to the harsh dynamics of drummer Nick Corbo (also the drummer in LVL UP) and Ryan Galloway, who aside from guitar, programs the modified Gameboy sounds into an iPod shuffle they use in live shows. The band debuted a new track, which features both Santos rap-singing along with guest vocalist from Laetitia Tamko of Vagabon, and was recently featured in Village Voice.

Laura Stevenson worked primarily with tracks primarily off her latest record, the more upbeat punk record “Cocksure” but also playing fan favorites from “Wheel” and even a quick cover of The Replacements’ “Alex Chilton” (with the quip about “Big Star” changed to “Chris Farren”.) The Long Island musician felt at home at Shea, even making a retort about how technically Brooklyn is on the island. As a former keyboardist for BTMI, Stevenson’s lyrical, singer-songwriter approach is far different compositionally, with the broad arrangements of keyboards, glockenspiel, and accordion often second nature to the smooth, folksy open chords beneath the distinctive timbre of her voice. Where her earlier discography played more downtempo, tossing them in between “Cocksure” tracks gave the audience, who at times acted as an entire chorus in the more tender moments of the set.

Chris Farren


Laura Stevenson

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