Well this was a cool fuckin idea. For the past five years, the Bell House has been celebrating Johnny Cash’s birthday. Due to popular demand, the event has stretched itself over two nights, and every year, it sells out.
Tucked down in Gowanus, the nondescript exterior of the Bell House stands in a desolate alley. But once inside, an uproar of music poured from the stage. With its high-beamed wooden ceilings and brass chandeliers, the venue perfectly set the mood as Alex Battles and the Whisky Rebellion whipped through Cash’s catalogue. Performing classic nuggets and rarities, they transported us back to Sun Studios, the Grand Ole Opry, and Folsom Prison with precision and zest. You should have seen the harmonica player—dude played like he invented the damn thing. And by the time Battles sang “But I shot a man in Reno,” there was not a single person in the crowd who didn’t yell, “…just to watch him die!” Johnny Cash fans: you get it.
What made the night even more special was it happened to be John and June’s wedding anniversary. To honor this, “Jackson” got proper attention with Lindy Loo playing the part of June—slapstick humor and spunk intact. For this 27 year old, it was the closest thing to Cash concert.
The only disappointment? Stepping outside in the Brooklyn night and realizing it was 2014.
– Melissa Caruso