River City Extension Close Out Tour in Style at Rough Trade NYCApril 20th, 2015
River City Extension – Rough Trade NYC – April 19, 2015
River City Extension are the kind of band you imagine never stops touring. Most of their songs sound like they were written while speeding down a highway, with a mix of rolling drums and cyclical guitar strumming, plus approachable gang vocals. Hell, lead singer Joe Michelini even has a pearly mountain range inlay on the neck of his guitar. Recently, that assumption about how often they play has been right—last night’s show at Rough Trade NYC capped off a 33-show tour that began in March and took them from the Jersey Shore all the way to Seattle. But before that, Michelini was holed up with lead guitarist John Muccino and keyboardist Patrick O’Brien recording the band’s newest album, Deliverance.
Last night’s show was a homecoming of sorts for the New Jersey band, whose fans clearly spent the last month digesting the new songs and fresher sound, giving the room an incredible vibe. “I kind of want to draw this one out. Milk it,” said Michelini. That they did: The band played for more than an hour, and they showed off polished performances of new songs in between rearranged versions of their older tunes.
River City Extension used to be very much led by Michelini’s acoustic guitar, which made them easy to peg as folkie. But their new sound is more expansive than it’s ever been, with dreamy interludes and ’70s-style rock and roll breaks. The band comes off as more mature, no surprise considering their core has survived a number of lineup changes and, recently, a tragic loss. But through it all, the fans keep coming, and after last night it appears that the band is ready to lead them down a whole new road. —Sean O’Kane | @Sokane1