Last week, Nat and Alex released two live tracks from their show in Arizona earlier this year and it reminded us of when we saw them live and we wanted to relive the moment (TBT style) by sharing this post. This was originally posted on Life Has Moments on October 15, 2014.
It’s a gloomy day in New York City as I make my way down to Nuyorican Poets Cafe on the lower east side to see Nat and Alex Wolff perform. Despite the brisk day, there is warmth awaiting to welcome fans inside for the evening. I’m with my best friend, and it’s a little after 4 P.M. as we approach the venue and see there are already a few girls lined up against the wall. I’ve been to this venue twice before in the spring to see the brothers perform. We recognize the two teenage girls who are (always) first in line, glad to see their familiar faces again. We eagerly ask them where their parents are because we’ve grown fond of them and are just as excited to see them as we are for the brothers. My friend and I refer to the girl’s parents as Mom and Dad, because that’s just the kind of companionship that has formed from these events. The hospitality doesn’t just end there, it extends through to the venue staff at Nuyorican as well as to Nat and Alex.
Without a doubt, it has been a breakthrough year for the brothers by not only releasing new music, but starring in several films. Nat starred in ‘The Fault in our Stars’ and ‘Palo Alto’ while his younger brother Alex starred in ‘A Birder’s Guide to Everything’ and even took on the challenge of directing, writing, as well as starring in his own film titled, ‘Boots’ which he hopes to screen for fans sometime soon.
Fame, music, and being in front of the camera is nothing knew to them though. From a young age the brothers were singing, “We’ve got the music in our blood” as The Naked Brothers Band and that talent is still there and growing stronger than ever. Despite always being in the spotlight, these guys are some of the most humble and grateful guys I have ever met. No matter where the industry takes them they remain incredibly sincere.
Its now a quarter to six and Alex rolls up to the venue with their manager. Girls in line get excited and take out their phones to snap photos of what they’re witnessing. As Alex makes his way inside, he first stops and goes to the trunk of the car to help carry some equipment inside. Then he carries on and says hello to the fans and thanks them for coming. Shortly after, Nat is spotted down the block walking up to the venue. Nat has a friendly smile on his face and like his brother, says hello, thanks everyone for coming, and hopes they enjoy the show.
As the evening continues, fans who had VIP are let in a bit early to spend some time meeting the brothers. As I walk in the boys are still doing some last minute soundchecking and then they make their way over for the meet and greet. When it’s my turn to meet the guys, they welcome me with open arms and Nat says, “Hey! It’s nice to see you again! Thanks for coming.” Surprised by the thought that they remembered me, I forgot everything I originally meant to talk them about. I planned to tell Nat how much I loved the film ‘Palo Alto’ and was blown away by his acting and mention ‘Boots’ as well as how I finally watched ‘Birders’ to Alex. We continued to chat briefly, took a photo together, and then parted ways. I take a few steps towards the stage and still have a good view of the meet and greet. Some background music starts playing and the guys dance in a goofy way to the music. They continue to meet fans and sign a variety of things from posters, cds, dvds, and fan made t-shirts.
A half an hour after the meet and greet has wrapped and everyone is in, the lights go out and the guys come on stage. The girls scream excitedly and inch as closely as possible to the stage. The brothers make their way to the stage and are now in much more dapper attire. With their guitars strapped on, they kick off the show with one of their new singles that was released earlier in the week, ‘Where I’m Going.’ A great choice as the song is definitely a crowd sing along folk tune. Nat and Alex have released six new tracks this year and each one is included in the set list. The new music has really shown how the guys have grown and matured as artists. They not only keep it honest and raw in the studio recordings, but in their performances as well. The brothers keep it simple and authentic using only acoustic guitars, a piano, and captivating vocals.
The energy inside is high and vibrant even through some of more mellow songs and ballads. They even sang ‘Crazy Car,’ ‘Proof of My Love,’ and ‘Body I Occupy’ songs from their days in the Naked Brothers Band, which had fans enthusiastically singing and dancing along to every word. The day of this show also marked three years since their last full length album release, “Black Sheep” which lead to some fans yelling out, “Happy ‘Black Sheep’ day!” The guys included a few tunes from that album as well. They ended the night with ‘Thump, Thump, Thump’ which regardless of the melancholy feel to it, had the audience happily singing and chanting their hearts out. The brothers put down their guitars, take a bow, and hug it out as they leave the stage.
As the lights go back on and everyone makes their way to leave, it is bittersweet saying goodbye to all the familiar faces, from the fans to the staff. From the moment I attended my first show, I quickly grasped the atmosphere of the venue and the wonderful spirits of the people who work there. Nat and Alex could easily be playing larger venues but they love the heart and soul of a place like Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and thanks to them, I do too. It speaks volumes to their character. It is the simple little things like this that make them not only quality artists but people too and I have no problem investing my time and money on a good quality product like that.
This was Nat and Alex’s final show of the year. Nat is leaving soon to begin filming ‘Paper Towns’ and Alex is also leaving to film a new movie. I’m proud to be a fan of theirs and I am looking forward to their future endeavors.