By Michael Getzler
“Cats have nine lives, the Beatles were together for nine years...And this is our ninth show at Glasslands.” Steve Marion, known onstage as Delicate Steve, could not have better captured the sense of fate in the room than he did with this sentence. Glasslands Gallery, a huge part of the Williamsburg music and art scene since 2006, closes at the end of this month, and for most people in the room on December 18th, myself included, this was the last time they were ever going to be there.
There was a note of solemnity in the air that I have never encountered at a live show before. People paid unwavering attention to the stage, as if afraid to miss even a second of what was going on. I could not help thinking as I approached the bouncer (who was giving the most cursory of glances at IDs – after all, they are probably not too worried about losing their license at this point), or as I ordered a Tequila Mockingbird, that this would be the last time I would ever do this, in this place.
Don’t get me wrong, though, this was a fun show. Delicate Steve played an infectious live set, each guitar riff penetrating to the core. My friends and I were humming and whistling “Sugar Splash” for the rest of the night.
Jason Bartell, the guitarist of Fang Island, opened the night with a sound similar to Delicate Steve, heavy on instrumentation. His style was a bit more intense and repetitive than Steve, who opts for a more melodic, wavering kind of music. It was almost like falling into a trance.
The second act of the night was Celestial Shore, and sandwiching such a lyric-centric artist between these two instrumental acts was brilliant. Their song “Creation Myth” was delivered with the highest degree of wryness, punctuated by lines like “We evolve. Slowly count the days. It’s happening to you.”