Photo – Pete Voelke

Words – Erin Shea

With little notice, New York-based Drowners started their set with a jolt and began playing one of their fast-paced rock songs to wake up the drunk college crowd.

The set began as Saturday night faded into Sunday, and everyone seemed wide-awake now.

After the first song, lead singer, guitarist [and model] Matt Hitt announces, “We’re called Drowners, I guess.” Then, he thanked and went on and on about the previous performers, an all girl band called Bad Girlfriend.

It’s actually a good thing he cleared that up since the band recently changed their name from “The Drowners” to just “Drowners,” and I’m sure that some people were confused with all of the references made to Bad Girlfriend within their first 10 minutes on stage. Seriously, it was a lot.

But I’m glad it actually was Drowners on stage then. Their songs were fun, fast, somewhat catchy and easy to dance – or stumble – around to.

Then, all of a sudden guitarist Jack Ridley stops playing, which causes the band to stop playing and examine the issues with Ridley’s guitar.

Fixing the “technical difficulties” took around 15, but Drowners still provided entertainment to the lively crowd. Hitt begins to vamp to hold the audience over.

“Think of a cleaver sentence in your review,” he said as he sipped on a cup of beer. “Think about if you were in this position.”

It seems as though not all the fans were bothered since two younger fans toward the front just went back to making out like nothing was going on around them as Ridley and a crewmember were still fiddling with the guitar.

“Has anyone got any of those things from ‘Men in Black’ like the memory-erase thing,” Hitt continued.

“Pull the shotgun! We’ve already surpassed the level of awkwardness,” he said. “I need another beer.”

Right then – as if waiting for his command – a fan passed a beer up to Hitt.

After a quick sound check to make sure the guitar was up to par again, Ridley apologized to the crowd for the issue.

“So sorry about my technical difficulty,” Ridley said. “But thanks, Bad Girlfriend!”

And the show went on. More rock music was played, more beers were bought and passed to the stage and the crowd didn’t seemed phased.

Despite the guitar issues, this band could have easily played a larger venue as Mercury Lounge got a little crowded as the night went on.

After an hour-ish on stage, the last song ended, the lights came on and a beer can was thrown at Ridley as Drowners put down their instruments.

Set list:

You’ve got it all wrong

Ways to phrase

Love, hold me down

People will talk

Button on your blouse

Long hair

Watch you change

Let me finish

Little red book


Bar chat

 Check out more from Drowners HERE

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