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On Saturday Night Broncho Were the Best Band in the World

May 18th, 2015

Broncho – Rough Trade NYC – May 16, 2015

31-atxl1
For just less than an hour on Saturday night at Rough Trade NYC, Broncho, the Norman, Okla., four-piece, were the Best Band in the World. It is one of those titles that hold the subjective and superlative ephemera that made Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World so satisfying. It was destined to be a passing one but the feeling was unmistakable as two fans climbed onstage near the end of the set during “I Don’t Really Want to Be Social,” the more committed of the two grabbing the microphone and screaming, “Broncho is the shit.” Unscientifically, shit said in this fashion was more like shiiiiiiiit. And as much as judgments like these can be, she was right, and the growing mosh pit proved it.

Broncho opened with a run of songs largely from their excellent 2014 record, Just Hip Enough to Be Your Woman. Sounding a bit like a lost Cars album, lead singer Ryan Lindsey mumbled his way through a good Ric Ocasek impression, riding downstroke guitars on “Kurt,” “It’s On” and “What.” The band then played the middle section of Just Hip Enough in order, running through “Deena,” “Stay Loose,” “NC-17,” “I’m Gonna Find Out Where He’s At” and “Stop Tricking” in succession. The crowd crested, creating a mid-’90s mosh pit in the middle of the floor, suggesting a hint of entropy conspicuously absent from so many New York City rock shows. The band appeared to play harder in response, Lindsey’s sweaty, stretched gray T-shirt occasionally slipping off his left shoulder.

Broncho closed with their most marketable song, “Class Historian,” one of those should-be-a-hit jams still waiting for its moment of mainstream recognition. The energetic audience told the tale, too. There was no better band than this one on Saturday night, the special union of a crowd and the performers recognizing a brief, discrete and passing moment. The girl who’d earlier screamed Broncho’s ascendancy from the stage, ended the night high-fiving anyone in sight, the inevitable afterglow of a moment in a band’s career had, lost and had again. —Geoff Nelson | @32Feet