New York’s Terminal 5 was a mix of young and old rock fans. You had the numerous teenagers in attendance to see Jake Bugg, a 19 year old blessed with boyish good looks and a style that recalls 60’s blues and folk. You also had the more weathered rock show veterans to support one of their hometown heroes, The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr touring in support for his recent EP AHJ
First up was Hammond. His solo stuff has a tinge of singer songwriter sappiness but live it’s not much different then how he sounds in his day job with the Strokes. Sharp staccato guitar riffs clashed against bluesy solos and 70’s rock riffs played at an aggressive speed. The crowd, even seemingly those there for Jake Bugg, were definitely into it and every song he played was cheered on loudly as if they were arena rock anthems. Hammond kept a broad smile all throughout his set, and it’s nice that this late in his rock star career he still savors the stage.
Jake Bugg was interesting. Because of his teenybopper approved good looks and his sharp pop songwriting his career has taken off very quickly (hence the sold out gig at a venue even established artists struggle to fill). But live Bugg is much less theatrical then you would assume at his current status and age; he just goes out there and plays. Every song was perfectly recreated live (and with an urgency not so apparent on wax) and he tore through his set without a misstep. It’s obvious that Bugg strictly cares about the music and nothing about the fame, which may cause some of his current fans to scatter once he starts growing in some facial hair. But he’s going to have a long successful career because of that fact.