Alberta Cross Does It Again

June 3rd, 2010

Alberta Cross – Music Hall of Williamsburg – June 2, 2010

Alberta Cross - Music Hall of Williamsburg - June 2, 2010
Small, intimate shows are nice, but some bands just sound better in bigger spaces. Alberta Cross’s set last night proved that, as they traded up from shows at Mercury Lounge and opening slots at The Bowery Ballroom for a headlining affair at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Being that they are fresh off of a tour with Them Crooked Vultures, Alberta Cross has clearly gotten used to a bigger sound. With additional room to breathe, their infectious songs sounded more potent and less raw, adding an ambient quality to their music that suited them well.

Petter Stakee’s thin, huddled frame reflected that of the bent microphone stand in front of him, as his piercing voice rang out from under a shroud of hair that spilled out beneath his brimmed hat. He and his band picked up things early with “Taking Control,” the first of many songs in the set that were so good they collectively get stuck in your head. “Low Man” and “Song Three Blues” slowed the pace and brought out a more blues-rock-based sound, while “Broken Side of Time” had a more assaulting Muse-like quality to it.

Guitarist Sam Kearney provided much of the ambience, helping Stakee fill the room with Alberta Cross’s modern spin on the sonic styles of older country and blues. Kearney twisted and flailed along with each note, seeming wildly possessed yet always in control. The band finished the (now expected) incredible set with a two-song encore, taking requests from the crowd instead of following the one-song plan written on the set list. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com