My wife and I went to see Marah at Maxwell's in Hoboken last Friday night, October 21. It was our first time seeing Marah, after several previous attempts were aborted for a variety of reasons.
Opening act was the Drams, a band from Texas. They were pretty good. The Drams have a keyboard payer which adds a nice dimension to their indie rock sound. I don't know whether they have any music released, but they did mention they would be going into the studio to record a new record.
Marah were fantastic. The Bielanko brothers have a great dynamic onstage. There is a big brother vs. kid brother competitiveness, coupled with a real affection for each other and the music they are creating. New guitarist Adam Garbinski has got the real rock and roll chops down cold. He hits all the right chords, and hits all the right poses onstage, and looks a little like "you're my guitar hero" Mick Jones. Kirk Henderson, on bass and keyboards, and the new drummer, whose name I did not catch, provide a solid foundation for the Bielanko brothers' incredible songs. The band is loose, loud and funky live, they tell great stories in between songs, and they are just plain fun to watch. I was deathly ill with a wicked head cold, but I could not stop dancing and singing along. If anybody recorded the show, I'd love to get a copy of the recording.
Marah is made up of human jukeboxes, so every song is instantly recognizable. They are also remarkably creative so those same recognizable songs are not derivative. Springsteen, the Pogues, Tom Waits, the Rolling Stones, The Replacements, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle are all hovering in the background of their music. If you have never heard their music, pick up Kids in Philly
and you will be hooked. If you haven't seen them live, go see them because you won't be disappointed.
You can check out Marah tour dates and buy their records at their website.