Austin Meade, The Azures @ The Mercury Lounge
Updated: Apr 6
As the dividing line between the hip and artistic Greenwich Village and the styling shops of SoHo and Nolita, Houston Street is a New York City hotspot for vintage meets futuristic music, art, fashion, and film. At the heart of all things indie in the neighborhood is The Mercury Lounge, whose small but intimate stage has been graced by the likes of Radiohead, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and many other bands/artists who would go on to top the charts.
It is fitting then that this particular venue would be quickly packed by fans of a wide range of music to see an up close and personal performance by Austin Meade. Drawing influence from heavy metal, indie, blues, emo, and post-hardcore, many barriers that separate musical genres were torn down in a stellar set that was nothing short of an emotional good time: an existential crisis with a smile at the end.
Starting the night off right was the New Jersey quartet The Azures. Conjuring vibes from The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin, it was as though the clock had jumped back decades to the days of happenings, jam sessions, and psychedelia.
For those born after this much beloved era of NYC history, songs such as "Whiskey Sour" and "Hollow Eyed And High" were as close as possible to experiencing the time when Andy Warhol or Nico could walk into a room at any moment.
Between the trippy instrumentation and the sultry, yet commanding voice of singer Gia Rose, The Azures might call New Jersey home, but their style is unquestionably classic Greenwich Village. Add in a line or two from Kerouac and a whiskey sour of your own, and let The Azures take you on a journey into yourself.
With 2023 shaping up to be a big year for Austin Meade, it is only a matter of time before clubs give way to huge stages. Indeed, Austin is set to perform at this year's Welcome To Rockville, Lollapalooza, and Louder Than Life, with more massive shows surely in the works.
Still, while packing a sound that would fill any stadium, Austin's down-to-Earth and relatable personality certainly puts him right at home in smaller venues.
Like a mixtape come to life, the set contained grooving tracks such as "Rosé Romance" and "Red Roof Estates", emotionally charged cuts including "Varsity Type" and "Déjà Vu" and songs poised to become arena anthems like "Happier Alone" and "Loser Mentality".
With so many elements from multiple genres coming together through the music of Austin Meade, the variety of styles and tastes among the crowd was quite similar to what one would find on any beautiful day up the road in Washington Square. Indie fans and hipsters, punks and rockers, and a suit fresh off the clock trying to catch some tunes and a drink, among others.
And yet, all came together in perfect harmony, with Austin and his band providing the perfect soundtrack. A reminder that good music knows no aesthetic or audio limitations, it simply is good music and can be appreciated by all.
Press and photo pass courtesy of Freeman Promotions