The Brooklyn-based Hopewell has been one of my favorite bands of the past few years. I first heard about them in 2005 and a few people mentioned that they were worth checking out. I had heard that lead singer, Jason Russo, used to play bass for the fantastic Mercury Rev, which made me more interested. I heard about a scheduled show at NOMAD World Pub (formerly the 5 Corners Saloon) opening for a local band, Vicious Vicious. This was strange on a couple of counts. First of all, the NOMAD World Pub generally doesn't host "national" bands. Secondly, a critically-acclaimed band was opening for a local band. Strange.
Unfortunately, I had lost track of the date of the show, but to my fortune, while driving home, I happen to tune into the great local radio station, The Current 89.3, who was just starting an in-studio performance with Hopewell. I was completely floored by what I heard. You can listen to the show here:
Hopewell's In-Studio performance at The Current
I made it to the show that night and was again floored by what I heard. I'm sorry to say that I didn't stick around for the complete performance of Vicious Vicious. There was no band that night that could have followed Hopewell and succeed. I ended up buying their masterpiece "Hopewell & the Birds of Appetite" directly from Jason after the show. Still one of the best records I've heard in the last five years.
Hopewell has since come thru Minneapolis two times, once opening for The Black Angels at the 7th St. Entry and once, opening for Spindrift at the 400 Bar. Each time, their opening performance was spectacular, and each time the headliner had the misfortune of following Hopewell's performance.
Watch Jason and Lydon from Hopewell perform John Lennon's "Oh Yoko" on a New York city bus. Enjoy!!
SPLIT - HOPEWELL - #1 - OH YOKO!
Watch Hopewell perform an amazing version of Synthetic Symphony from their fantastic Hopewell & the Birds of Appetite