LIVE REVIEW: Mercies at The Detroit Bar September 6, 2012
Mercies band members, Josh Rheault (vocals/guitar), Sammy Dent (drums), Jordan Flower (bass), and Adam (keyboard), were all smiles as we talked about their roots in northern Connecticut. When asked about their beginnings, influences and where they drew their inspiration, several references were made to “the Barn”. Josh and Sam began working together in Josh’s parent’s old barn in late 2010, which was where they recorded their first album ‘Three Thousand Days’. They were later joined by Jordan and most recently Adam, who have both known and collaborated with Josh in the past. Each of members eagerly detailed the benefits of their creative space; gorgeous setting, natural reverb, big open area, and, according to Adam, a coffee pot that puts in extra hours. It was Sam that best described the significance of “the Barn” when he said, “Josh and his family really worked hard to provide that space. It feels really safe to be there in a creative way. I feel it’s like going home again every time I go there.”
The Detroit Bar may be far from Connecticut but Mercies played like it was their home. In the near pitch black darkness, you could see a decent crowd had gathered. A small group had a Mercies poster and was front and center, excited for the show to get started. It was only fitting they opened with Clouds as every band member had previously agreed it was the song that most represented the direction in which the band is headed. A mellow intro with an edge led into captivating vocals that immediately had the crowd dancing and singing along. The melodic, indie rock sounds that followed were equally honest, fresh and constantly followed by the sounds of appreciation from the audience. During the interview, Jordan also said ‘Birds of Prey’ was one his favorite songs to play live, stating “elements of it are very ‘Mercies-ish’. 60’s rock mixed with beachiness on the guitar”. Listening to it live was equally enjoyable with its strong rhythmic chords being strummed on the guitar, the flowing vocals and a hint of darkness in the lyrics.
Mercies are as down to earth as their music, thanking their fans for cheering, singing along, and making them feel at home. Jordan even jokingly announced Josh would be performing a Taylor Swift cover for all those missing the VMA’s as Josh switched to his acoustic guitar. Interacting with each other and their fans allowed them to keep the audience engaged and made for an awesome night.
Before concluding the interview, I asked Mercies to tell me what the one thing they would want their fans to know. “I guess that we’re for real. This is all we do. This is our lives. We not only put every penny we make back into the band, it’s really everything we’re doing right now. We just want to make the best art we can and hope people appreciate it. “- Josh.
Mercies are currently on tour and headed north/east through several major cities. If you are looking for an amazing show, their next stop is the Blue Lamp in Sacramento on September 9, 2012. You can also catch them at the CMG Festival in New York held October 2012. Mercies is looking forward to releasing a seven inch EP in November and working on another full length next year. More information on the band and upcoming shows can be located by visiting www.merciesmusic.com or visiting their Facebook page www.facebook.com/merciesmusic. Their album, Three Thousand Days, and EP, The Ballet, can also be found on iTunes.
Interview and photos by Ana Arce