Muzz performed their first show in a live stream from Kingston, NY at Old Reade’s Theater and it was such a treat to see in these current times. Though these live streams can’t ever replace the feeling of being at a live show the band made the best of the situation and set up on the stage in the round. The core lineup of Paul Banks, Josh Kaufman, and Matt Barrick was expanded to a five-piece for the performance with multi-instrumentalist Stuart Bogie and bassist Annie Nero. The band performed 11 of the 12 tracks from their excellent debut album with faithful renditions beautifully augmented by the aforementioned additional musicians. It’s obviously quite a different vibe for a band to be performing without an audience in front of them but the band handled it very well. The vibe being very somber most of the time with the look of the old theater, golden lights, and smoke adding to the overall atmosphere.
The performances throughout were actually outstanding, this was one of the best vocal performances I’ve seen from Banks, his voice so perfectly suited to the more mellow/quiet vibe of many of Muzz’s songs. Barrick is an outstanding drummer and showed great dynamics in his playing throughout the set and another highlight was watching Kaufman’s fantastic guitar soloing on “How Many Days” and “All Is Dead to Me”. Along with keys, Bogie performed the albums brass and woodwind, a key part of what makes so many of these tracks stand out and Nero added beautiful vocal harmonies which greatly complemented Banks. The banter was kept to a minimum throughout the performance with mostly song introductions though Banks and Kaufman did joke around a little during the set and it was nice to see the juxtaposition between this and the songs themselves. Overall this was a great introduction to Muzz live. Here’s hoping they will actually have the opportunity to tour this record eventually.
review by Jahmeel Russell