BODEGA energized the Free at Noon crowd - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Bodega Free at Noon - 04.26.2024

BODEGA. Some may know it as a corner shop in New York City, but the audience at XPN’s Free at Noon came to know them as an alt-punk powerhouse. The five-piece band, made up of Ben Hozie on vocals and guitar, Nikki Belfiglio on vocals and percussion, Dan Ryan on guitar, Adam See on bass, and Adam Shumski on drums, treated fans to a full production, complete with props, projections, and lots of personality from the band.

The show started with a pre-recorded track that mimicked a commercial ad, before the band launched into “ATM,” commanding the stage with their presence and setting the energy level high. They kept the audience engaged with slick interactions from Belfiglio and swag dance moves from everyone on stage. It wasn’t long before the crowd joined in, bopping around and shaking their heads.

The New York City-based band came out with a new album earlier this month… sort of. Our Brand Could Be Yr Life is technically a rerelease of an earlier album with the same title, released when the band went by the name Bodega Bay. However, Bodega’s evolution provides a whole new sonic experience, with the same songs sounding wildly different. In an interview, Hozie likened the album remake to that often done with films. “Almost all of the songs are originally from the Bodega Bay album, but in many cases, we completely rewrote the arrangements, riffs, and lyrics to reflect our current interests.”

And culturally relevant it is. The album explores the tension between corporate mentality and the underground scene, a theme that was incorporated throughout their Free at Noon performance. The entire show’s design revolved around their new album, from the cardboard ATM displayed front and center (taken right out of Our Brand Could Be Yr Life’s cover), to the looping projection of a cartoon ATM and the band’s stylized currency.

Although songs like “Major Amberson” switched up the pace, the set was overall electrifying, and the band’s excitement was contagious. Not a single head was left unbobbed by the end of their half-hour performance.

They didn’t speak much between the songs – except for when Hozie dedicated the second half of the set to the balcony, “Give it up for the people who like to get high,” he joked – but that’s because their songs and stage presence spoke for themselves. All dressed in matching black and white, they radiated coolness that only comes with being authentic. And if there’s one thing that BODEGA have maintained throughout the years, it’s originality.

They saved the best for last, closing the set out with a rousing version of “Cultural Consumer III,” leaving spirits high despite the darker undertones of their songs.

If you missed BODEGA’s Free at Noon Show, you can still catch them at the Latvian Society tonight, during the first leg of their world tour.

Free At Noon
  • ATM
  • Shiny New Model
  • City Is Taken
  • G.N.D. Diety
  • Bodega Bait
  • Tarkovski
  • Major Amberson
  • Statuette On The Console
  • Cultural Consumer III
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