Photos by Brian Berson

Jesse Malin, locally known as the unofficial mayor of the Lower East Side, in typical Jesse fashion, took a less traditional approach for his the release party for his latest album, Sunset Kids (released via Wicked Cool Records).

Kicking off the event with an acoustic guitar and harmonica, was friend Matthew Ryan who played a short set of original songs. Tommy Stinson, as we are very familiar with from The Replacements, as well as his time with Guns N Roses, then treated the crowd to three killer songs. Joseph Arthur followed, offering a heartfelt tribute to Eddie Money who sadly passed away the day before this show. Through his cell phone, he played “Baby Hold On” into the mic in addition to his one-man-band set of original guitar rhythms and looping pedal.

Last of the special guest opening acts was a longtime friend of Jesse, Alejandro Escovedo. Escovedo shared a personal story regarding his father, a Mexican immigrant. His father raised seven professional world-touring musicians despite countless difficulties, hardships, and roadblocks. An incredible accomplishment on his part, and a privilege for us to have this musician play for us on this special night. His thoughts on the current administration, immigration policy, and being a proud Mexican American, ended with a fierce “F-Trump” to thunderous applause. A five-song rock and roll set played on electric guitar with his old school greaser style whipped the crowd to into a frenzy and everyone was ready for Jesse’s debut.

Jesse Malin

Malin and his band took the stage to an electrified room. They began their set with, “The Archer,” from his 2010 album Love it To Life. He played songs from most of his solo catalog over the course of his two-hour set. Jesse’s history in the NYC punk scene runs deep. He shared that he last played Webster Hall when he was 12 years old, with his band Heart Attack. Back then the building was called The Ritz, and his pre-teen band was opening for the Misfits.

Alejandro Escovedo

New York musicians Catherine Popper on bass, Derek Cruz on guitar, Randy Schrager on drums, and Rob Clores on keys, are the incredibly talented members of Jesse’s band. Playing classics that every Jesse Malin fan wants to hear, the crowd was arguably offered the best; “Brooklyn,” “Wendy,” “Turn Up the Mains,” and “Boots of Immigration.”

Jesse Malin

And then, Sunset Kids, the reason we were all there, Jesse’s brilliant new 2019 album co-produced with Lucinda Williams. Jesse and his band played eight songs from this record. Each song displayed his talent and passion, musically, lyrically, and through his performance. The stage is Jesse’s home. For fun, he engages with the audience by coming out into the crowd. during “She Don’t Love Me,” he made his way from the stage to the back bar where he climbed up to sing a verse, He had the crowd sit by way of instruction “get small like Steve Martin”, for “Sally Can’t Dance.” He’s been doing this for years, and it’s always entertaining. Woven into the set were also a variety of special moments. Jesse dead stopped playing “Queen of the Underworld” to bring out his good friend Don DiLego to join them to play “You Know It’s Dark When Atheists Start to Pray.” Stinson was brought back out for a cover of The Clash’s “Hateful,” Escovedo joined the band for “Meet Me At The End of The World,” and for the final song of the unforgettable night, a cover of Lou Reed’s “Sally Can’t Dance.” It’s no surprise that Jesse remains in the Mount Rushmore of NYC songwriters and performers. Each album he produces offers fans a piece of him that we get to keep forever, and we are forever grateful.

Find a full gallery of all the performances posted in the gallery below, along with the setlist.

Matthew Ryan:

Tommy Stinson:

Joseph Arthur:

Alejandro Escovedo:

Jesse Malin:

Jesse Malin setlist:

1. The Archer
2. Death Star
3. Brooklyn
4. Do You Really Wanna Know
5. Chemical Heart
6. Shining Down
7. Riding on the Subway
8. Strangers & Thieves
9. If I Should Fall From Grace With God (The Pogues cover)
10. She Don’t Love Me Now
11. Hateful (The Clash cover) (with Tommy Stinson)
12. Boots of Immigration
13. Turn Up the Mains
14. Shane
15. When You’re Young
16. Meet Me at the End of the World (with Alejandro Escovedo, Joseph Arthur, Liza Colby, and Kia Warren)
17. Room 13
18. Queen of the Underworld
19. You Know It’s Dark When Atheists Start to Pray (with Don DiLego)


20. She’s So Dangerous
21. Wendy
22. Revelations (Jesse Malin & The Saint Marks Social cover)
23. Russian Roulette (The Lords of the New Church cover)
24. Here’s the Situation (with Liza Colby, and Kia Warren)
25. Sally Can’t Dance (Lou Reed cover) (with Alejandro Escovedo, Joseph Arthur, Liza Colby, and Kia Warren)

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