The special lady friend and I went to Brooklyn Bowl on Wednesday night to see The Thermals' concert. We were skeptical at first - the idea of a concert venue/bowling alley situated at the corner of Wythe and N. 11th Streets in Williamsburg sounded too much like Ground Zero of the Hipster Apocalypse. But we were wrong to pre-judge; the space is really cool (refashioned out of an old factory, its all dark wood, heavy stone, and LEED lighting), every song played over the stereo could be found in our iPods, the restaurant serves gourmet comfort food from Blue Ribbon, including macaroni & cheese, brisket, and BBQ beef sandwiches, and there are big screen televisions everywhere, broadcasting live sporting events. The concert space is much bigger than I expected (standing room for about 1,500 people) and, best of all, they refuse to over-sell tickets, so that even sold-out shows leave the audience with elbow/dancing room. It is a very cool place.
The Thermals were at the top of their game - sweaty and shouty and fun, with lots of sing-a-longs and a couple of bitchin' bass guitar solos from swoony CSD-crush Kathy Foster. They played six or seven new songs, from an album that is apparently supposed to be released this fall. All of them sounded good, even if they didn't leave them with enough time to play the Nirvana, Green Day, and Breeders covers for which they have become so well known. Still, it was a great show.