After witnessing countless bands with some of the fastest stage set-ups I’ve ever seen (A+ for the roadies!), my CMJ Music Marathon experience came to a close on Saturday afternoon with a few shows at the Rockwood Music Hall. Brooklyn band Hospitality took the stage around 3:30pm for some rock jams featuring wailing electric guitars and Amber Papini’s sweet and spunky lead vocals. Although the instruments sounded great, Papini’s voice was unfortunately a bit overpowered by them, making it harder to hear her beautiful voice. Still though, they put on a pretty entertaining show and served as a good lead-in for Rachael Yamagata who was up next.
Playing mostly news songs with a few older goodies thrown in, Rachel Yamagata put on one hell of show to a beyond-packed and enthused audience. The highlight of the set really had to be “The Way It Seems to Go,” a bluesy jam from her new album, Chesapeake, which was cranked up about a thousand percent in terms of gritty, dirty sassiness with great pedal steel guitar and keys from her fantastic backing band. “This song started out as a joke song,” she said before launching into it, “and then it made the record.” And thank god it did.