Steve Conte NYC and the Bowery Electric: a match made in rock ‘n’ roll heaven. Conte and his hot upstart band seemed right at home in the dark, crowded basement of one of the last live music clubs on the street that spawned New York’s punk scene, where only a few feet separate the band from the standing-room-only audience.
On this night, the pumped-up crowd danced and sang along as the band ran through the high-energy original songs on The Steve Conte NYC Album, the release of which they were celebrating. Flanked by his bass player brother John and other musicians including Dave Weiss on guitar, Kyf Brewer on keys and Phil Stewart on drums, Conte was in fine voice and delivered his barroom/street life tales with force and humor. From the romantic “She Blinds” and the raucous “Lady Luck” to the wistful “Happy Hour,” Conte and the band played them all. They also threw in two covers: Jason and the Scorchers’ “White Lies” and the encore, the Rolling Stones’ “Happy,” featuring Jon Graboff on pedal steel and Sophia Ramos on backing vocals.
Before playing a full-throttle version of the joyous “OK DJ,” Conte announced that it would soon be named “Coolest Song In The World” on Little Steven’s Underground Garage radio show. Maybe Steve Conte NYC is the coolest band too.