General Admission Standing Room Only

THE GIRAFFES

The Giraffes are a cult band from Brooklyn that plays a signature mixture of heavy rock, punk, metal, surf and whatever else they find interesting. Loud, agile, dangerous, funny, sick, complex and satisfying, the Giraffes have been thinking people’s hedonistic soundtrack of choice since 1996.

Lead singer Aaron Lazar and guitar wizard Damien Paris form the core focus of the band, with support from the locomotive rhythm section of maniac drummer Andrew Totolos and the latest Giraffe Hannah Moorhead on bass. The band has just completed recording their 8th full length album “Cigarette”

The Giraffes have a well earned reputation for mayhem. Trouble has seemed to follow the band from day one. Guitarist Damien Paris was shot in the leg outside of a White Castle late one night in Brooklyn by an off-duty fire marshal. The bullet is still lodged in his knee. Singer Aaron Lazar has suffered multiple Sudden Cardiac Death events. He has a defibrillator implanted in his chest. During a show at Chicago’s legendary Double Door It sent 700 volts directly into his heart 3 times in 30 seconds (he finished the set).

The Giraffes’ live shows are characterized as dangerous affairs. Combining fierce musicality and unbridled audience participation Giraffes performances have generated an intense and extremely dedicated fan base that often travels great distances to attend. They have toured alongside acts such as Local-H, Eagles of Death Metal, The Vacation and Skeleton Key, sharing the stage with Interpol, Fishbone, the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, the Strokes. And have played festivals like Amsterjam, Voodofest, Monolith, SXSW, and Bonnaroo, SXSW, CMJ, Northside and more. Giraffes music can be found in video games like Guitar Hero and heard in movies like the 2017 Sundance Festival winner “I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore” and the Forthcoming Toxic Avenger remake by famed indie auteur Macon Blair.

The Giraffes were formed in 1996 by Damien Paris, Andrew Totolos, and bassist Tim Kent. The band cut its teeth playing in the NYC underground with contemporaries the Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Interpol and more. In 1998, they released their debut album FRANKSQUILT, however it was not until singer Aaron Lazar joined in 2000 that the band found its true shape.

HELPING YOU HELP YOURSELF, released in 2002, is a raw testament to the explosive energy of the foursome, blending Paris's ferocious riffage with the bellowing croons of Lazar's tongue in cheek lyrics. It marked a period of activity where the band would stake its claim as the most unbridled and fun-loving Brooklyn live act. 2002 also saw the departure of Kent from the band and introduced John Rosenthal on bass. With Rosenthal, the band started touring nationally and released four studio albums in rapid succession. Starting with the spaghetti western E.P.: A GENTLEMAN NEVER TELLS in 2003, the band quickly signed to Razor and Tie records releasing their self-titled album THE GIRAFFES in 2005. Unfortunately, the record deal stalled as leadership at the label was in flux. In response the band quickly wrote and recorded a second E.P. PRETTY IN PUKE and 2007 was busier than ever. A formal exit from their contract allowed the band self-release the thunderous PRIME MOTIVATOR in 2008, touring extensively and growing their fan base nationally. By the end of 2008, Rosenthal had left the band and was replaced by Jens Carstensen on bass. More touring followed and 2009 saw the band release a live concert album and DVD combo entitled THE GIRAFFES: SHOW on Crustacean Records. Filmed at the Brooklyn institution Union Pool it also contains extensive interviews with the band and their cohort from this period. The following release, an epic concept album titled: RULED (2010) proved to be Lazars' swan song as the road took its toll and band members began to explore other projects. Lazar played his ‘final’ show with the Giraffes in February of 2011 declaring: “If we don't make it big by the end of this show, I’m fucking quitting.”

The Giraffes operated without Lazar by releasing an album of rarities and B-Sides: FAREWELL FAT ASTRONAUT (2012) and later the eclectic TALES OF THE BLACK WHISTLE (2013), which featured the vocal talents of Brianna Wanlass and Kimberly Paige Valor.

2014 brought reunion concerts with Lazar back at the helm of the band. Sold-out shows in Brooklyn and Denver reunited fans from across the continent and, bolstered by their support, the Giraffes began developing new material. Carstensen left the band in 2014 and was replaced with Candy Darlings and Beauty Supply alum Josh Taggart on bass. In 2015 the newly reconstituted band released its sixth full-length on Silver Sleeve Records entitled USURY to critical acclaim following it up with a handful of shows across North America.

2019 saw a new record FLOWER OF THE COSMOS nd a new lineup as bassist Joshua Taggart was replaced by the formidable Hannah Moorhead (Netherlands / Twenty Two’s) on bass guitar. FotC gained mythic status among the giraffe faithful containing several favorites including the angular and tumbling Fill up Glass which was remixed by the backpack rap and longtime friend Blockhead. Another remix sees the song Bubblescum reinterpreted by Adam Franklin of Swervedriver into something less rock and roll and more atmospheric and shoegaze.

2024 marks a transition to a new era of the band with Moorhead anchoring the bass position and contributing more in songwriting and backup vocal duties. The Giraffes have completed their 8th studio full length titled CIGARETTE which was recorded in their own studio and mixed at several locations including the legendary Studio G in Brooklyn. With the line up no longer in flux and the band members settling comfortably into the role of grizzled lifers of the Brooklyn scene the focus is now being placed squarely on songwriting. CIGARETTE is full of surprises and takes new risks in subject matter and composition all while maintaining the intensity and dexterity fans know and love.

Links: Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

ROCK ACADEMY

Young musicians bring the past and the future of rock crashing into the present! Have your fears about the future put aside for the night when you see the students of Rock Academy bringing everything you love about music to the stage. Rock Academy's Showband is an advanced touring group of young musicians between the ages of 12 and 18 who have been selected for their musical dedication, showmanship, love of performing, and ability to share the stage with professional musicians as they tour the world. Recent highlights include opening for Blondie and accompanying Violent Femmes onstage.Links: Official Website | Facebook | Instagram