Fences Fills The Mercury Lounge With Beauty

Written by  Published in Live Reviews Monday, 16 May 2011 13:00


When Christopher Mansfield and his band, the group known as Fences, stepped out of the dressing room to perform at The Mercury Lounge in New York on Friday evening and walked on stage, it's as if it had been mere moments before that he'd tapped into the place that allowed him to create Fences, and the acoustic, indie folk songs that have helped him become so popular over the last year.

It's a habit he's sort of developed.

He closes his eyes, and whisks you into his dirty little musical world, where things are good or bad, but they're resolved in an intense and soulful way. Are they emo, really? Are they indie? Whatever they are, in an hour, Fences bridges the gap between the genres. They are grunge at its most rigid, rock at its most raw. Music as a personal love letter to life and all of its nuances and broken promises.

There aren't any special lights or pyrotechnics at a Fences show. It doesn't seem like the audience is a bunch of cool kids who are going to say 'they knew about Fences since Ultimate Puke EP.' It's not that kind of show, or maybe it is, and people find a way to check themselves at the door. The convoluted conversations that have become second nature at New York indie shows somehow don't make it inside, and maybe it's because at the core, there isn't really more to Chris and his project, Fences, than a man and his guitar. A man who loves to make music, but didn't know if he could without the luck and a friend at a label. Maybe that is what makes Fences resonate with so many people from so many places?

Watching Fences whisper their gratitude after a song, and continuing to play a set of songs off of their stunning, self-titled LP, is warm. You feel like you've contributed in some way to a band that wouldn't be here other wise. Hearing “Girls With Accents” and looking around The Mercury Lounge to see other people mouth the words, feels special, like a concert in your living room, or a reading of your journal in front of an audience of accepting strangers... Like you're not completely alone in the world.

On Friday night, Fences managed to fill a room with their music. And they've done it at The Mercury Lounge on more than one occasion.
And they played songs that prove, without a shadow of reasonable doubt, that creating music is still an artform.

Fences ended their tour last night in Baltimore, MD.  You can catch them this summer at Bonnaroo!

Last modified on Monday, 16 May 2011 14:24
Kristina Villarini

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter Feed


New On BestNewBands.com

Sharon Van Etten Peels Away The Layers For “New Stage” Series At The Chapel

30 July 2014

San Francisco - Hearing a favorite artist or band perform a stripped-down or acoustic set is a rare thrill.  When it does happen, it brings back memories of the olden days of MTV, with programs like...

The Last Internationale Plays Lollapalooza - Debuts On Letterman

30 July 2014

Los Angeles - Fresh off a European tour that included shows with Kings of Leon and Neil Young and performances at numerous festivals, including British Summer Time in Hyde Park, The Last Internation...

10 New Bands to See at Lollapalooza

29 July 2014

Chicago – Lollapalooza is finally upon us! You’ve been counting down the days to see your favorite bands, but what about all those new bands? Have no fear, we’re here to help. We’ve comprised a list...

Magic Man Casts A Spell On Chicago

28 July 2014

Chicago – The Boston-based Magic Man had already begun to play “Waves” when lead singer Alex Caplow came energetically skipping out on stage. His enthusiasm held strong all night, leaping feverishly...