I don't know what it is about the Bowery Ballroom that brings out the off-the-wall playful energy of musicians.
The members of both Jukebox the Ghost and the Jenny Owen Youngs band who played there on May 27th were no exception. They may have been, in fact, the pinnacle of the statement.
The two bands, who were finishing up a three week tour, collaborated at both the end of Youngs' set and at the end of Jukebox's headlining set. This put eight passionate musicians, who had spent three weeks on the road together, onto the same stage and, needless to say, their camaraderie and joy was palpable. They beat each other with tambourines, they laughed and shimmied and flirted, and at one point, three of Youngs' musicians (two guitarists and the drummer I think it was) ended up piled on top of each other on the stage floor. Mid-song, mind you.
During the single cover that Jukebox played ("Temptation" by New Order), dozens of black and purple balloons were released suddenly from the balcony. As they were tossed around the ballroom, the sense of bliss and play sky-rocketed. Fans (and presumably friends of Jukebox pianist, Ben Thornewill) at the foot of the stage found great amusement in pounding Thornewill with balloons as he energetically sang through the song, pausing to shout: "It's hard to play with balloons!".
Perhaps. But it's certainly not hard to find the play in playing the Bowery Ballroom.
Photo of Bowery Ballroom by curtis w. on www.yelp.com