07.14.12 | Blitzen Trapper & Ben Kweller | Stuyvesant Town Oval

Clearly Stuy Town is the place to be. Today's concert was just one of the many free concerts "for residents and their guests" held throughout the summer. In the center of the collection of apartment buildings, "The Oval", was a grassy lawn where community organizers handed out free t-shirts and residents and non-residents like myself set up picnic blankets and brews to enjoy the free outdoor entertainment. Luckily, it wasn't too hot and thus the ideal ambiance for enjoying two refreshing bands.

First up was Ben Kweller, who I last saw in concert ten years ago when he was in all his Sha Sha glory. Today, he looked no different than he did back then, though perhaps this time a little wiser and more seasoned. Though he played mostly new songs in support of his latest album, Go Fly a Kite, he did play a few older songs, though unfortunately, nothing off of his first album. I kept waiting for him to bust into "Wasted and Ready", but sadly that did not happen. Nevertheless, Kweller and his band mates kept the enthusiasm high throughout the set, mixing acoustic numbers with blues numbers without missing a beat. Plus, here's a fun fact: Did you know that he used to live in Carroll Gardens, my old neighborhood?? (Hence "F Train Blues").

The official headliners were Blitzen Trapper, Sub Pop signers who came on the scene around the time that Fleet Foxes were gaining ground. I was expecting a little more out of them given their impressive studio albums, but they didn't seem to have their heart in the set. They played their songs as assigned with minimal banter and seemed more interested in smoking or tinkering with foot pedals and sound effects than showing any emotions on stage. But then again, maybe that's just the hipster-thing.

Ben Kweller:

Blitzen Trapper:

Photos courtesy of Matt Dalmau
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