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Three Big Sounds at Mercury Lounge

November 20th, 2009

The Dig/Locksley/SAADI – Mercury Lounge – November 19, 2009

The Dig - Mercury Lounge - November 19, 2009

Ever hear someone boast about how they once saw a now-great band in a small venue? Last night’s show at Mercury Lounge was one of those shows on three different levels. One of the opening bands, SAADI, which had only played a handful of shows together, stunned the early crowd with a tightly executed mix of poppy vocals and ambient guitar. A great rhythm section in Marcus Farrar on drums and AJ Lambert on bass backed lead singer Boshra AlSaadi’s quirky stage presence. SAADI’s exceptionally well-written music showed promise that will certainly pay off for them as an up-and-coming band.

Locksley, heavily featured on MTV, played second. With a sound that straddled the border of the Strokes and the Beatles, they traded lead vocals and executed perfect harmonies. (They even already have an established throng of female fans swooning in the crowd). That they were in the middle of a billing at Mercury Lounge was a bit of a surprise, but they played like it was Shea Stadium, somehow fitting 13 songs into a 40-minute set.

The Dig, a New York City group that is far less known than Locksley but carries just as much promise, however, stole the show. The band was the most powerful of the night, using heavy bass from Emile Mosseri in every song. David Baldwin’s guitar contributed to the strange mix of straight rock sound and fuzzy shoegaze, the latter complemented by Erick Eiser’s wickedly sweet keyboards. Baldwin and Mosseri traded lead vocals from song to song, but Mosseri’s voice was the standout, uniquely sharp and incredibly magnetic (at it’s best on “Penitentiary,” a song so catchy it begs to be licensed and heard everywhere). The Dig wrapped their set with “She’s Going to Kill That Boy,” a brash rocker akin to Cold War Kids, leaving the crowd listening to a band that sounded like they’d already made it big. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com