Jake’s Take’s Concert Reviews: Van Alden At Arlene’s Grocery

Van Alden frontman Paul Abrahamian visited New York City venue Arlene’s Grocery. (Photo courtesy of Gramophone Media)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Before Paul Abrahamian became a household name on CBS’s Big Brother, he was an accomplished musician and frontman for his band, Van Alden.  2018 has been a big year for Van Alden as they released the band’s self-titled debut EP. Currently, Van Alden is traveling across North America to commemorate the EP’s release.

After selling out the Subterranean in Chicago, the band turned their attention to New York City’s Arlene’s Grocery, where another sold-out crowd waited. Music producer Zaya Levitt joined Paul on stage, and together the duo performed songs from Van Alden EP.  Despite the short set, Paul and Zaya put on an impeccable show.

One of the evening’s highlights was when Van Alden performed their haunting cover of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”  The duo’s hypnotic arrangement gave the Jack White-penned song a mysterious and dark aura that would impress the celebrated guitarist.  Another key moment of the evening was when Paul shared the tale of two “Othersides.”  The Van Alden explained to the Arlene’s Grocery audience that he sampled “Otherside” and transformed it into a new track: “(an) Otherside.”

The sold-out crowd gave Van Alden a plethora of energy throughout the band’s set. Fans raised their “Rock On” hands during “Seven Nation Army.” Upon Paul’s request, the audience transformed the small performing venue into a kaleidoscope thanks to their smartphones’ flashlights near the end of the set.

Final thoughts and grade: The Van Alden EP concert tour showcased that the potential that this band has in the music industry. Between the fantastic arrangements to Paul Abrahamian’s superb musicianship, Van Alden is ready to take on the music world. Van Alden could not only change the pop noir genre but also play a role in inspiring other bands to enter this realm. A

Set List: “Sinners,” “Boheme,” “Seven Nation Army,” “Otherside,” “(an)Otherside,” “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” “Never Die,” & “Stay.”


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