Five Borough Bucket List

#FiveBoroughBucketList #102: Catch a Local Act Perform

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Michael Jayson at The Bitter EndSomeone once told me that it seems like everyone in New York City is an artist. Photographers, musicians, writers, actors – everyone has their own thing. It should come as no surprise, then, that finding art in New York City is super easy. Everywhere you look, there’s a performance of something, even if it’s just people doing SHOWTIME on the subway. For this bucket list item, I wanted to catch some live music in New York City, but not pay a ridiculous amount go to MSG or the Barclay’s Center.
The Bitter End outsideWhen I think of New York City, I think of the Village. Maybe it’s because when I was in middle school and high school, I dreamed of going to NYU. I always wanted to be right in the heart of everything, and the Village just seemed like the perfect place to be. Each time I have a list item there, I get super excited. CBGB closed before I got to go experience it, so my goal is to venture to as many classic places as possible, before it’s too late. This time, my list took me (for the first time ever) to the Bitter End.
The Bitter End bar muralFirst up, the venue: The Bitter End was opened in 1961, and it has been the first showcase for just about everyone in music. Bob Dylan played there. Janis Joplin played there. Les Paul played there. And more recently, Lady Gaga played there. On this night, Michael Jayson played there.
71257a5d-4ea1-4c2a-b267-620eb415b895_orig.jpgLook, I’ll be honest – I don’t know how to describe this small, local concert other than to tell you it kicked ass. The hour set flew by, mostly because I was having such a good time clapping, dancing, and singing along. There’s something really special about live music, especially in a smaller venue like The Bitter End. I’ve seen musicians play huge crowds (Springsteen, Van Halen, and Billy Joel, just to name a few), but nothing beats actually being in close proximity with the person performing.
fullsizerender_6.jpgMichael does a mix of pop and rock, with original songs mixed in with some awesome covers. I’m always impressed (and jealous of!) by anyone who can write and perform his or her own music, especially when the songs sound as good as these ones did. On this night, Michael had everyone singing along to Nelly’s “Ride With Me,” which I was excited to see that I still knew all of the words to (you know you do too!). I’ve known Mike for almost 10 years now, but I never got to see him perform live (such is life when you move 1,000 miles from New York…). I’m really glad I chose him as my “live local act,” because his stuff is original, heartfelt, and the perfect soundtrack for a night out at a venue like the Bitter End. Maybe one day his name will be up on their “We all played here!” board. Check him out over on iTunes or Facebook for more!

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