Above: Lead singer Arleigh Kincheloe performs Thursday night at the Dock in Ithaca, NY.Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds had a few tour dates as they rolled through Upstate New York this week in Rochester & Utica. Last night, the group arrived in Ithaca, providing an excellent set list and a great time as fans forgot the incoming winter outside.
The weather was taking a turn for the worst last night with threats of snow & freezing rain. That didn't stop Ithacaites from heading out to the Dock to see one of the best emerging groups in the music industry today, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. With three albums under their belt, the band was on fire last night. The younger crowd gave back just as much energy to the band if not more, making this one of the best shows of the fall.
At first glance, Ithaca's dive bar The Dock didn't seem too much of a great place to have a show. The bar is a typical dive bar, with the stage set up on one end and a decent sized bar on the opposite side. The standing room may hold enough for perhaps a few hundred people, and last night, it was packed.
The surprisingly young crowd was a good mixture of both male and females, a hip Ithaca gathering wanting to catch a great soul & jazz band from Brooklyn, New York. There were some older folks thrown it, but for the most part, it was mostly people below their thirties in attendance.
Perhaps the best thing about last night in Ithaca wasn't necessarily the band, although they were fantastically good, but the crowd itself. The crowd gave out as much energy as the band the entire night, if not more. It was great to be a part of something where everyone at the Dock was really digging the music. The people in the front were pulling off some great dance moves to the satisfaction of lead singer Arleigh Kincheloe. There were also dancers all throughout the crowd, and people in the back in the bar were even clapping their hands and bobbing their heads throughout the show. It was as if the crowd last night was one person, all clapping, dancing and swaying to one of their favorite bands.
Arleigh Kinchleo looked great last night with an impressive black dress on. The other members of the band all looked good as well. Besides looking good, Sister Sparrow is one of those groups where every member of the band gets their own spotlight and highlight throughout the show.
The band were all fantastic last night. Although there were some moments where Arleigh was drowned out by the rest of the group, her presence was still well known and heart felt throughout the show. Her vocals were spot on and and better then ever last night, but what really makes the group are the Dirty Birds. Even though Jackson was great on harmonica, even he was overshadowed by the rest of the group. The guitarist and bass player of the band were exceptionally great last night, nailing solos left and right and awing the crowd in front of them. The horn section was impressive as well, giving off a great sound that the fans loved.
Despite how small it is, The Dock had amazing sound last night. It wasn't too loud or too soft, and you can here every instrument and member of the band clearly.
While it was great hearing Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds perform some of their older songs like "Make it Rain" and "Rock In It" they were exceptionally great when the band performed songs off their newer album, The Weather Below. "Suger" was a highlight of the night and really got the crowd going, while everyone sang to other tunes like "Prison Cells" and of course the encore of "Mama Knows." Another highlight of the night was when the group performed a great version of Amy Winehouse's "Valerie."
Above all, even though the band was great last night, it was the crowd that mattered most. It was a great gathering of people to be a part of, a great bunch of kids and young adults that know great music and want to experience it live. Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds proved they are one of the best acts to see these days and are a freight train of soul, blues & R&B.