By Robert Goldberg | February 26, 2024

It’s not every day you get the pleasure of seeing a multi-platinum, Billboard Top 100, heat-seeking rock group. However, it was Brooklyn Bowl’s lucky night, where the critically acclaimed Spin Doctors put on a vintage home-town throwdown with Paris Monster. Formed in New York City in the late 1980s, the band gained mainstream success in the early 90s with their debut album Pocket Full of Kryptonite. The record was a commercial success propelled by hit singles like “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” and “Two Princes,” a song you may recognize from several movies and TV shows from the 90s and 2000s. The crowd was packed with everyone from old jam heads to staunch and prideful New Yorkers who were ready for a night of radio wave flashbacks.  

To get things warmed up, Paris Monster took the stage with experimental musicians Josh Dion (vocals, drums, keyboards) and Geoff Kraly (bass guitar, modular synthesizer), both from Brooklyn. With pounding, in-your-face garage beats, soulful, indie elements, and electronic modular synth mayhem, this group had us hanging on to every sound. The duo seamlessly transitioned between five different instruments during their set and created a magnetic sound. After that whirlwind of electronica, the Spin Doctors, consisting of Chris Barron (vocals), Eric Schenkman (guitar), Mark White (bass), and Aaron Comess (drums), took the stage. We could tell they were right at home from the eclectic energy Chris brought to the stage as they jumped right into “Bags of Dirt,” bringing a rocky jam sound reminiscent of fellow New York based rock group, Moe. We were immediately enchanted by the rough-edged and unapologetic enthusiasm of Eric’s initial guitar solo, as well as the profound complexity of Chris’s nuanced lyrics:

“These sketches of an infinite architecture are ink and unconfirmed conjecture
A dream glimpse of the puppeteer’s knuckle a fragment of a fraction of a gesture.” 

Locked and loaded, the Doctors were ready to operate.

Continuing their sonic onslaught, the band played “Boombox” and “Sugar,” before Eric belted out the vocals for “Off My Line” while Chris showed off his provocative dance moves. Chris prefaced the next tune by explaining that it was about him dealing with a mean old lady–we could feel angst fill the room with rebellious cheers from the audience before the band dove into the honky tonk hoedown, “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.” The high intensity sound continued with “I’m The Man You Got,” turning up the temperature and then cooling it down with a more contemplative “How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Can Have Me).” This song was a big favorite of ours with feel good beach rock beats and a dichotomy of jealousy and pride explained through a lyrical desire for what could be. 

We started to mingle in the crowd more and learned that a lot of the audience had close ties with the band in some way, shape, or form. It was clear that many fans were all familiar with each other, which made for a warm, communal experience. Other notable tracks that had us movin’ and groovin’ included a super funky, almost RHCP sound in “What Time is It?” which filtered into a drum and bass brawling runaway train ride from “Lady Kerosene.” The set ended with their classic masterpiece “Two Princes,” which had the crowd singing along. 
The show didn’t end there though, as the Spin Doctors came back on stage with Josh Dion from Paris Monster. “This song is about your mama!” proclaimed Chris, leading the band into “Yo Mama’s a Pajama.” We spoke with a friend of Josh’s in line for the show who told us Josh was great friends with Aaron Comess, as you would expect New York drummers would be. However, you might as well call these two brothers after seeing their fiery display of back and forth drum solos that had us on the edge of our seats til end the show. Just what the doctor ordered.

Connect with Spin Doctors on Instagram, Spotify, and their website.

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