True to the opening of Mikal Cronin‘s latest record, which we gathered at Bowery Ballroom to celebrate last night, he didn’t waste any time before bending over his big-bodied twelve string guitar and launching into the real San Francisco treat: hyperactive punk-pop scuzz chords. Throwing “Turn Around” and “Made My Mind Up” at us in rapid succession, it almost seemed like we were in for a straight play-through of MCIII. I wouldn’t have complained, but to everyone’s delight the third song turned out to be “Apathy,” the Weezer teaser gem from 2011’s, Mikal Cronin. Beer didn’t stay in cups very long after that, as Bowery collectively moved into the head bopping portion of the night and pretty much stayed there.

The relatively short set was full of energy and low on banter. Merge released MCIII the day before, and though at one point Mikal did lean into the mic and deadpan “this is a record release show,” using up one of the two sentences he said all night, the band played a fantastic scattershot of tunes from all three records. If you wanted to introduce a friend to Cronin’s music, they did all the work for you last night. It was a perfectly curated playlist of Cronin’s particular brand of subversive rock, that “Elliott Smith on speed” sound he manages to capture both on record and onstage. Bowery was a great venue to see this band live, and last night they gave the people what they wanted: rock.

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Photos and Write-up by Lucciana Costa