By Erica Ascher and Melissa Kramer
The streets of Kingston were empty on a cold and frigid Friday evening. A majority of the shops that make up Wall Street were closed, making the area that brings to mind a drive-in dark and quiet, except for some bars, restaurants and lounges.
On Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, at BSP Kingston located in Kingston, a trio of bands warmed up the venue, including Albany-based Jouska, Sports, hailing from Oklahoma and BRONCHO, also from Oklahoma.
A small bar with some seats surrounding it stands off to the left. Behind a red curtain was a stage lined with several amplifiers, pieces of a drumset and three microphone stands, waiting for the band to set up. Above the standing room floor spun a sparkling disco ball.
Four gentlemen in plaid shirts took the stage around 8:45 p.m. The lounge was quite empty with about 15 people sitting by the stage or at the bar. Magenta-colored lights covered the opening number of the night, Jouska, an alternative rock band. They rocked the house for about half an hour singing their original songs, like “super” and “In Vestal.”
“This vibe is something that you don’t often find,” Jouska bassist and SUNY New Paltz alum ‘13 Eric Lloyd said.
Around 9:30 p.m., the concert continued with Sports. The four-man band stepped up into the purple and blue stage lights that sparkled off of their chrome jackets, which were ordered from Amazon. Lead singer Cale Chronister danced to their groovy songs like “Manicure” and “You Are the Right One.”
“It might be my favorite place we’ve stopped, honestly,” said Sports’ guitarist Jacob Theriot.
The Oklahoma connection was a long-time coming for two bands. For Sports, this was their debut tour they have embarked on in their early careers, and to tour with their Oklahoma counterparts BRONCHO was just a matter of time.
“It feels very natural because while recording our first record they would pop in and help us,” Chronister said. “During our second record, they would pop in and help us. So it makes sense that our first tour is with them.”
Fashionable and themed coats were a common motif of the evening. While Sports matched with chrome jackets, BRONCHO wore trench coats as they closed out the night of music. The indie rock band started off the set playing songs off their 2016 release “Double Vanity.” They closed out the night with their hit song “Class Historian.”
BRONCHO bassist Penny Pitchlynn said playing in Kingston felt “good.” Previously when the band drove through the area, it was coated in snow.
To prepare for their next show the following evening, a sold-out gig at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, Pitchlynn had a thought of spray painting a message on her shirt, expressing her thoughts on the recent presidential election.
“I don’t want to interrupt the show too much, but at the same time, how can you not in a time like this?” she said. “Rock and roll is an act against authority already. It has been from the beginning.”
Pitchlynn said the opportunity is the perfect platform to stand up for a reason.
“I can’t be on stage for more than a song and then I go into that headframe and think, ‘What am I doing if I’m not doing something for the cause?’” Pitchlynn said. “At this point, it has to be that, everybody putting everything in, so that’s how it feels. It feels good to every night right now especially have an hour of escape from reality.”