A Band Ready for the Next Step

December 13th, 2012

River City Extension – Mercury Lounge – December 12, 2012

The members of Jersey-bred River City Extension have done a lot of things right in their few years as a band. They’ve extensively toured, played on the Vans Warped Tour, developed a passionate and engaging live show, and put out two excellent albums. These things considered, last night’s show at Mercury Lounge should be one of their last small-room headlining dates in New York City. During their second song, “There and Back Again,” it was already clear that a few lineup changes and a bunch of time on the road had not worn the band thin, and that they had brought out a loud group of fans.

Performing with seven members, they were left with little room onstage for moving around, so lead singer Joe Michelini and the others directed the energy toward the crowd. Songs like “Something Salty, Something Sweet” had a bit more kick to them, even as the group tried to fit as much as they could into the hour allotted for the venue’s early show. The band wrapped up their set as they often do: out in the crowd, playing and shouting their final song along with their fans, but when it ended, the audience actually coaxed an encore out of Michelini. So he leaned out into the crowd and obliged them with a solo performance of “Golden Tongue,” once again unplugged. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane |