Concert Reviews

Sparky’s Flaw Impress at The Knitting Factory

The Tap Room of the Knitting Factory was packed by the time Sparky’s Flaw took the stage shortly after 9:30 p.m. Friday night. Those in attendance could feel the energy coming off the stage as it permeated throughout the crowd, having many dancing or singing along to their songs. Playing a 40-minute set, Sparky’s Flaw showcased songs from their current EP as well as a few new tunes which will be featured on their first full-length album, due out this summer on Mercury Records.

If Maroon 5 were to have younger brothers, Sparky’s Flaw epitomizes them. A mix of Maroon 5’s catchy beats and strong vocals with a little bit of The Fray’s keyboard style combined with smooth sounding saxophone features encompasses the five-piece band, Sparky’s Flaw. Their songs have strong keyboard and saxophone features as well as catchy hooks in practically every song that it’s hard not to have them stuck in your head long after their performance is over. Frontman Will Anderson leads the band alternating between vocals, keyboards and guitar.

Friday night was just a brief introduction to NYC as to who Sparky’s Flaw is. With their recent record deal and their album being recorded on the band’s winter and spring breaks (three are seniors in college) the world is sure to hear much more from this up-and-coming band in the near future.

Sparky’s Flaw started off their set with catchy pop song “Under Control.” With lyrics like, “Because I’ve kept my heart under control/But lately all this time has taken its toll/I said I tried to but I can’t hold back what’s deep in my soul/So darling please forgive me I want you and you’ll just have to know” they sure know how to make a girl’s heart swoon. What’s great about most of their songs is the saxophone feature. A lot of the time it’s so soft you don’t pay attention to it right away because the drums and guitar sound are a bit stronger, but the saxophone definitely adds to their music tremendously.

“All That I Am,” another song featured from their self titled EP, slowed down the night for a bit while Will started out on keyboards and alone on vocals. You could definitely feel the emotion in every note he sang. “Words Meet Heartbeats” as well as a new song, “Give It Up” had a strong guitar feel to it while extra keyboards and drums helped the strength of the song.

Crowd favorite of the night was their last song, “The New Year.” Interestingly enough, this song was a featured song during the Rose Bowl in January and I could see why as they performed it. The energy just leapt off the stage into the crowd while practically everyone in front of the stage was singing along with Will at the top of their lungs. It was probably the most solid song, both instrumentally and vocally, of their set, definitely a great way to end the night.

First performer of the night was Phil Bensen, playing a 35-minute set. Bensen started out his performance with “High Heels and a Miniskirt,” a soulful number with impeccable vocals and solid guitar and drum accompaniment for a two-piece band.

Bensen’s voice really blew me away. His high falsetto vocals are very soulful, reminiscent of the Jackson Five with a blend of John Mayer or Jason Mraz. He definitely is a musician to be on the look out for, having toured with the Jonas Brothers as well as being featured in New Jersey’s Bamboozle Festival for the third year in a row.

His set included eight songs, some featured on his MySpace such as “Not Good Enough,” and “Bruised”as well as a few songs that will be on his upcoming album and his soulful closer, the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”

The Scott Harris Project followed Bensen with a nine song set. Their set was a bit more heavy than Phil’s, and was a four-man band made up of guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. Scott introduced his song, “Hit” as a song being about the wrong girl. The band’s music revolves around Scott’s vocals, definitely strong and catchy. “Level” had a solid instrumental feature in the middle of the song while he had many fans in attendance singing along to “Live It Up,” a song somewhat reminiscent of a combination of Third Eye Blind and Jason Mraz.

Be sure to check out these three bands on their MySpace pages for a better feel of their sound.
Sparky’s Flaw
Phil Bensen
Scott Harris Project