Sunday, August 14 Vanity Crash with Mystery Lights at Beachland Tavern.
In an era when the city kvetches that there’re no good NYC bands, when half of the music scene has split for sunny California, the Mystery Lights are an anomaly. Not only did these bold young men reverse the direction – optimistically migrating east against the tide from the west coast, but they also landed in the wormy apple to immerse themselves in the action and diversity of New York City. They all share a Ridgewood apartment in Queens, playing music and recording in their basement. Betting against the odds to live the archetypical 20th century downtown musician lifestyle in 2016, though inevitably further east of the bridge, they also play with the kind of conviction, immediacy, and raw power of their mighty ancestors – from the Velvets to the Voidoids and beyond. The Mystery Lights are living proof that vital contemporary music, in this case real-deal rock’n’roll, can still be dreamed, constructed, and performed in the Empire City.
Vanity Crash was born on stage under hot lights in the
crucible of sound and fury as the glam-punk band The Angry
Inch in Cleveland Public Theater’s production of the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Ever since, Vanity Crash has been dressing up and throwing down with eye-popping
synchronized light shows, outrageous stage costumes and provocative attitude, opening for the likes of the New York Dolls, Poison, Semi Precious Weapons, the Darkness, and Gogol Bordello. The band placed songs in the movies Kingsbury Run and Hellweek. Their recent acclaimed tributes to David Bowie include timeless gems performed live alongside their own incendiary originals.
Jeff Niesel of Scene magazine says, “One of the only bands on the local circuit that keeps the glam rock flame burning brightly, Vanity Crash has been going strong for a decade now, pumping out good, gritty records with regularity.”
Dennis has played guitar for Queue Up, System 56, Verdanzen and The Times. Dennis has composed original scores for numerous plays, including the musical version of Lysistrata and the recent hit at Cleveland Public Theatre, Shakespeare’s Titus. Dennis served as musical director and guitarist for Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.
DeLee has performed with Pointillism Jazz Consort and Weathervane Playhouse in Newark. She teaches acting in Great Lakes Theater’s in-school residency program, one of the most successful artist-in-residence programs in the country. She will appear in the musical Heathers in Cleveland in 2016.
Thomas has appeared in Letters From Camp, Modern Time, The Clean, Haywire and Cats on Holiday. He has performed in the orchestra pit for theatrical productions ranging from West Side Story to Music Man to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. As a solo performance artist he has performed in theatres, cafes, bookstores and junkyards throughout the Midwest, New York City, Baltimore and Paris.