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Smith Island's Asylum
February 1, 2008
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, NYC

Written by Mikel J. McCoy
Photographed by Andrew Harris

Opposite Photo: Aaron Burk

Smith Island is theatrical…that much is obvious from the movie screen projecting scenes of sex, drug use, and beach/shower singing above the band on stage to the fact that they have conceived and perform a ROCK OPERA. The costumes are angels and nurses in lingerie, disheveled, tattered lost beauty, and those two parts of their show alone may just be worth the price of admission. Add that their music is a mix of glam 70s, think Bowie and T.Rex showmanship, big rock, like say Queen’s epic rock grandeur and heavy metal with an exacting female lyrist and you have a bona fide original ROCK OPERA that’s as much rock show as it is theater piece.

Gabriele Stubbert

Gabriele Stubbert

When we took in Smith Island performing Asylum the afore mentioned opera at their monthly show at the Bowery Poetry Club in the East Village we were a bit amazed. Amazed by the spectacle, this band has a definite aesthetic vision of their music, by the ambition to make a somewhat old clique, rock opera, if not all new again at least not a tired retread, and their chops, from what it looked and sounded like Smith Island know what to do and just how to do it for maximum effect.

Gabriele Stubbert, Aaron Burke and Angus Clark

Asylum is the Story of Zelda Zardoz, a young woman who dreams of Hollywood stardom only to face the trials and tribulations of drug use and indiscriminate sex that drives her literally crazy and lands her in the Smith Island Asylum. The band tells this story with convincing hard rock sounds and an original stage show/movie projection. Singers, Gabrielle Stubbert and Steve Dawson weave a tale as dark as gothic girls’ eye-make up and the rest of the group leaves it all onstage with precision vintage, not retro arrangements.

Aaron Burk

Smith Island performs its rock opera, every first Friday of the month at the Bowery Poetry Club. We suggest you go see what the darkness and decadence is all about while rocking out to these unique performers.

For more information about Smith Island, log onto: myspace.com/smithisland.
For more information about the Bowery Poetry Club, log onto: bowerypoetry.com.



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