Bencoolen Celebrates Their Album Release With A Packed Pearl Street Warehouse

Bencoolen performs at Pearl Street Warehouse

Funky and vibrant energy pulsed through Pearl Street Warehouse on Friday night as three local(-ish) bands shared the stage. Charlottesville’s Disco Risqué and Philadelphia’s Swift Technique opened for DC’s very own Bencoolen who were celebrating the release of their debut album Daydream.

Teddy Scott and Paul Gregg of Bencoolen perform at Pearl Street Warehouse
Teddy Scott and Paul Gregg of Bencoolen perform at Pearl Street Warehouse

And although their set started late, Pearl Street Warehouse was packed nearly to capacity by the time Bencoolen dawned the stage, a sea of friends, family, and newfound fans cheering them on. The band — comprised of Teddy Scott (guitar), Paul Gregg (vocals, guitar), Jack Bentsen (alto sax), Will Lockery (drums), and Ben Suarez (bass) — are currently on the road on their largest tour to date.

Bencoolen solidified what we’d already had a hunch about — they are meant to be experienced live. While their recorded tracks are groovy and well-polished, their live sound is raw, authentic, and gritty. For an hour or so, the band became one with their instruments, working off each other’s energy. While the recorded album is by no means tame, while performing, everything felt electric, more alive. Fueled by the audience’s vibrancy, Bencoolen played confidently and with style, leaving ample room for improvisation and prolonged musical interludes.

Jack Bentsen and Teddy Scott of Bencoolen performs at Pearl Street Warehouse
Jack Bentsen and Teddy Scott of Bencoolen performs at Pearl Street Warehouse

From the more chilled out, jazzy vibes of “Roll On” to the hardcore and edgier sounds of “Show Me Your Hands”, Bencoolen performed something for everyone, playing a balanced mix between of new and old tracks.

There were opportunities for each member to show off, with an insane guitar solo during Bencoolen’s latest single “When You Look Back”, an eagerly welcomed sax solo to close out the show, and Gregg's iconic vocals soaring atop intricate melodies. Bencoolen have reached the sweet spot where they can gracefully show off their individual talents, while still working together to present a cohesive and united front.

 "While their recorded tracks are groovy and well-polished, Bencoolen's live sound is raw, authentic, and gritty."

Disco Risque performs at Pearl Street Warehouse

Ryan Calonder of Disco Risqué

Disco Risque performs at Pearl Street Warehouse

Ryan Calonder of Disco Risqué

Openers Disco Risqué and Swift Technique warmed up the crowd excellently, each playing a genre of music that fit well into the Bencoolen style. Horn-heavy and vibrant Disco Risqué had such a wide variety of sounds that were reminiscent of so many different bands — from Pink Floyd, to The Antlers, to Two Door Cinema Club, to Bei​rut — every track was a new adventure. Playing a near-consecutive jam for 45 minutes, Disco Risqué had everyone crowded toward the stage almost instantaneously, kicking off the night with infectious funk tunes.

Swift Technique kept the party going with their female-led and retro sound, as well as a mean cover of Talking Heads ”Psycho Killer”. With an eye-catching stage presence, the Philadelphia-based band had impressive and fervent jam sessions that really emphasized their musical prowess.

Bencoolen play with an ease and professionalism that was proven when they were able to maintain their composure when friends rowdily cheered them on from the crowds. Only cracking slight smiles, they were able to rock on without missing a beat.

Bencoolen performs to a capacity crowd at Pearl Street Warehouse

When the band filed offstage before the encore, the crowd cheered uncoordinatedly for an encore, unable to decide between “one more song” and “encore”. The result was a mix of shouts, cheers, and whistles, which worked just as effectively. After reclaiming the stage, Gregg said, “Want a sax solo to close it out?” And, without waiting for the resulting cheers, he added, “Good, ‘cause that’s your only option”, before launching into 2016 single “Spotlight”.

What started as a gloomy Washington winter night quickly flipped into a warm, high energy dance party, packed with people of all ages who were looking to rock out and have a good time. There was no shortage of good music Friday night, and I can easily say it’s been my favorite show at PSW to date.

Videos

Videos

Videos


The following videos are provides courtesy of Bencoolen's YouTube Channel.

Setlist

Setlist

Setlist


Click here to see the setlist for Bencoolen's performance at Pearl Street Warehouse on March 1, 2019

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery


Enjoy photos by our photographer Jason Herman of Jason Herman Photography.

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Play/Purchase Album

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Abbie Ginis

Abbie Ginis has been a music junkie for as long as she can remember. Hailing from Michigan (Go Blue!), she is eager to continue to explore and be immersed in the DMV music scene. When she's not at concerts, Abbie can be found at the movies or longingly ogling at puppies.


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