“Rock n’ Roll Lives in New York City”

Telescreens © Matt Weinberger
Telescreens © Matt Weinberger
A recap of a memorable night in the downtown New York music scene, where Telescreens sold out the Bowery Ballroom and declared that Rock n’ Roll was back in New York!
by guest writer Noah Berghammer
Stream: ‘Stare Wide’ – Telescreens

Rock n’ Roll lives in New York City!

Says Telescreens frontman, Jackson Hamm, after walking off stage at the Bowery Ballroom on a Saturday night to remember in New York’s downtown music scene.

It’s been nearly a week and I’m currently in the mountains of Colorado for a wedding, but I can’t stop thinking about what it felt like to be in that room, having a shared experience of great art surrounded by great people. Hamm’s declaration of a rock and roll resurgence in the Big Apple came after their extended encore cover of “Age of Consent” by New Order, where Sid Simmons and The Darlings joined them on stage for a rowdy party. For six whole minutes, the two young bands with effortless style and presence took turns surfing through the crowd of moshers, and singing their hearts out. Love lived in that room. Love for music, love for New York, love for each other.

Telescreens © Matt Weinberger
Telescreens © Matt Weinberger

And I could feel remnants of that old New York that everyone’s always talking about; It was in the middle of Sid Simmons’ set when, to my surprise, more lighters than phones came out to sway in the in the dark room full of Bushwick boys and downtown girls with their low rise jeans, wife beater tanks, and patchwork tattoos. Something undeniably cool was in the air. People were dancing again, there was momentum. Could there really be a resurrection happening? I started to wonder and I started to dance.

Just as Simmons and his darlings played their last song, a large group of us exiled for the smoker’s door out of the ballroom for a quick smoke before the big show. Once out on Delancey, my eyes adjusted to what was happening around me; There were actors and musicians, writers and burnouts hanging outside of the downtown club that held so much history. I caught up with James McDermott, aka dba James, another promising young alt-rocker, who I directed a music video for earlier this year.

We smoked a couple Marlboro golds and chatted about new projects with those around us, including the talented painter, Maya Ribeiro, as well as James’ manager, Andrew Moltz. I watched the world turn- this New York world, anyways. I can’t quite explain it – and maybe not everyone felt it –  but this was a moment. The city was burning with life tonight.

Telescreens © Kirill Bykanov
Telescreens © Kirill Bykanov

Telescreens © Matt Weinberger
Telescreens © Matt Weinberger

It’s strange, we read things like “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, and we envy the time that came before us in this treasured city. But what if we were there and it felt a lot like tonight?

I think it just might.

Some minutes later, we all straggled in for another drink. With a Brooklyn Lager in hand, I walked excitedly up the stairs to witness a show that would cement itself into my memory whenever I look back on my younger days in New York.

I’ll say to my kids (that I’ll never actually have), “The show began in the dark, the only light being periodic flashes from nightlife photographer Matt Weinberger’s camera. Then, a slow kick-drum started beating and it grew faster with the heartbeat of us in the crowd; we wanted to dance.”

They’d be leaning in at this point.

“What happened next, daddy?”

Well, a spotlight appeared on Jackson Hamm’s face and he played his guitar in a way that made us all go crazy, not just the girls in the front row. Circles started around me and my girlfriend, and freedom rang through the mouths of the cool kids who were high on molly as they sprinted into the middle of the circle and bashed into each other’s shoulders and chests.”

It was cinematic really, the way we all danced and shouted the lyrics to songs we actually knew from people we actually hung out with. Everybody wanted to pull out their phones to record this moment, but we couldn’t, it was too special.”

And it was.

Rock n’ Roll, indeed, lives in New York City.

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Noah Berghammer is a 24-year-old film director and writer who lives in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He has worked with brands like Reza, JB3 Official, and Zara, and has been featured in Alternative Press Magazine, Nylon Magazine, and Rolling Stone Magazine, among others. Instagram: @noah.bergs // Website: noahbergscreative.com

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