Wednesday night at Manhattan’s Le Poisson Rouge nightclub, lifestyle website Thrillist.com celebrated its fifth birthday. The milestone was rung in with ample friends, liquor sponsors and a performance by Atomic Tom — a band from just across the East River in Brooklyn that recently earned worldwide renown.
The NYC foursome became a viral sensation after posting a video online of them performing their single “Take Me Out” live on the subway, using only iPhone apps as instruments.
“As a band we’ve always done these creative video blogs … and we try to showcase our music through it as well. This most recent one was no different,” explained guitarist Eric Espiritu, whose little brother thought up the concept. “He pitched it, and we were like, ‘Yes! Let’s do this. Let’s figure out how we’re gonna do it, where we’re gonna do it, and let’s just do it.’ Audio’s all live, it’s all one take. Video is one take cobbled together from three different iPhone video cameras.”
In addition to garnering nearly 4 million views on YouTube, the clip also has won over some notable fans.
“Alyssa Milano tweeted our video!” gushed Espiritu. “What’d she accompany it with? It said, like, ‘I like this,’ and then the link.” Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo has supposedly seen the video as well.
At the Thrillist.com bash, Atomic Tom performed an energetic 40-minute set of anthemic power-pop with a few ballads thrown in for good measure, mostly from their album The Moment, which drops on Tuesday (November 22). (Despite hailing from the hipster mecca, bassist Phil Galitzine says the group has no indie designs: “We’re not really an indie band, we don’t really have an indie-band sound.) Lead singer Luke White — whose voice could be mistaken for that of the Killers’ Brandon Flowers — flawlessly pulled off frontman duties, keeping the crowd engaged, while drummer Tobias Smith, Galitzine and Espiritu steadfastly took to their respective instruments.
The show culminated in a revved-up cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” followed by “Take Me Out.” The finale had everyone dancing and some even singing along. Atomic Tom played the song that put them on the map with so much might that they seemed almost worn once it ended. But it was worth it — by the end of the evening it seemed evident that many more people would be playing that tune on their own iPhones.