New London Fire at the Velvet Lounge

New London Fire

Live Review: New London Fire at the Velvet Lounge, 3/9/06 >>

The Velvet Lounge, contrary to puzzling misconceptions, isn’t merely a great little U Street bar in which to meet for a drink prior to catching a show around the corner at the 9:30 Club. At the top of their narrow staircase, the second level of the club boasts an equally great little room to catch a live show. On Thursday night, New London Fire, from Union City, NJ, opened the first night of their first-ever tour here and, based on the strength of their set, they may just find themselves around the corner at the 9:30’s more storied stage before too much longer.

Shortly after midnight, the band opened their set by launching into their signature number, the epic pop confection (and number one smash in a just world), “Different,” and if you were fortunate enough to be among the small crowd at the Velvet on Thursday night, you may well have found yourself stunned to be hearing such an arena-ready crowd pleaser performed by an unknown band. As their forty-minute set went on to prove, with lush, swirling synth notes, crisply chiming guitar, and the assured confidence of frontman, David Debiak (formerly of Sleep Station, along with his brother and keyboard player, Jason), The Killers had better be looking over their shoulders.

As New London Fire continues on their tour, making their way to a coveted slot on the opening night of Austin’s South by Southwest Music conference this Wednesday, no doubt their set will be honed to a diamond sharp edge … and if all goes well in Austin, where buzz is born every year, it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing them in a room as small as the Velvet Lounge on their next trip to D.C. but, no matter the size of the room, you would do well to be a part of the crowd filling it upon their return.