Some may not believe that five guys from Florida with a banjo would make such an impact on the East Village, but the 502’s first ever sold out show proved otherwise.
On Saturday, the 502s brought a warm burst of energy on a cold New York day. The band’s rising fame has taken them to new heights in their careers, part of it being this tour. The Florida natives’ began their tour in Virginia, and most recently visited the city for their sold out show at Mercury Lounge in the East Village. That night, they were met with open arms by fans and music lovers alike.
The 502s reach across generations. Gen-Z, Millennials, and yes, even Baby Boomers, were present in the crowd. Everyone seemed to come together as a result of their music. They tend to describe it as a "neighborhood block party vibe," and just from looking at the crowd, seeing so many people varying in age, that truly captured this energy.
The 502s lovingly refer to their fans as family, and it truly felt like a block party family reunion. Looking out at the crowd all you could see was a room full of strangers bonding over their love for this band.
The opener, Oliver Hazard, had the crowd in the palm of their hands, cheering, singing, and even teaching the chorus to the audience, so we could all sing together. Mercury Lounge creates such an intimate setting that you couldn't help but feel like their friends. They even shared with us the story of their Instagram name: some guy in Rhode Island has the username OliverHazard. But don’t worry, they send him T-shirts all the time.
Suddenly, the lights begin flashing, and you can hear the rising strumming of a Banjo by lead singer Eddie. That’s when you know the show has begun.
As a fan of the 502s’ music, what they show on social media is exactly who they are in real life. The band bursted onto stage with the best energy you could have ever seen and immediately captured the crowd's attention. This was a show for music lovers. Whether you knew the words or not, you were guaranteed to have a good time. What else could you ask from seeing an amazing band live?
Before stepping on stage, the band’s story is worth diving into. The 502s first went viral on TikTok for a 15 second clip of the live version of their song Magdalene. It has now amassed 1.7 million views, and led to them releasing that version which has 4.8 million streams. Their fame only increased when another song, Just a Little While, became the sound for a TikTok trend for people to post their most thrilling adventures. There are 100,000+ videos made using this sound, and has contributed to their 1.8 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
The 502s music is a celebration, an instant serotonin boost if you will. You can’t help but add their music to your good vibes playlists. Their band is comprised of a full folk orchestra, accompanied by the occasional kazoo, of course.
This was my first concert in the past two years, and it did not disappoint. Given the chance to just fully escape through music is the most beautiful thing, and to do that with live music makes it even better. Being in a room full of people dancing, singing, and basking in the moment with this band was quite an experience. The love they have for each other has poured over into their fans, and you can see it when they perform.
When the band played Magdalene, which echoes sentiments of heartbreak , the whole band still had big smiles on their faces. My guess is because the entire venue was shouting their lyrics back to them. The entire time they kept thanking the audience for coming out and spending the night with them, and expressed their gratitude and lovable personalities.
The 502s came out and put on a show. They had their instruments, their dance moves, and they let the music do the rest. It was honestly the best performance I have witnessed in a long time. You can’t help but have a smile plastered to your face hearing their music live, because you know that they are truly enjoying themselves. This is what they love to do, and it shows. Their energy is electric, and hearing them live was indescribable.
The 502s are brothers bonded by their passion for music, and to have been a part of their journey was truly magical.