Launching the show was the Lonely Machines. They were one of the newest bands out of Lowell and this was their first show. A demo was just released by them on Bandcamp. Many of the tunes they played were the kind an audience can sing along to once they became familiar with them. It helped that vocalist Jeff Sullivan was very clear with his phrasing. The standout piece of their set was “King Janitor”, which was also their catchiest.
Coming after the Lonely Machines was Left Hand Blue. They were the most classic rock trio of the evening with a bit of punk thrown in. Their overall sound was tight and each member of the band was very talented. An album is due to be released in the spring. Something of interest musically was their lead singer, Matt Minigell’s vocals being complemented by bassist Carissa Johnson’s vocals. This gave their music appealing male/female dynamic. One could tell that the band members are great friends by the way they played around. For example, during one of their songs, Minigell and Johnson, ran at each other as if in a jousting match. Continue reading
Not everything went according to plan at this week’s VPAC show. Two performers were not able to make it due to a tour van breakdown. One of the groups, Egos at the Door was coming all the way from the United Kingdom. This contributed to some regular attendees’ belief that the show had been canceled. Luckily, two more performers were able to fill the slots.
Starting off the show was solo artist Adrian Sympson. He played a short acoustic set. Many of the songs themselves were short and a number of them were introduced as being new. The vocal style was comparable to artists such as Jack’s Mannequin and Say Anything while the lyrics were akin to Brand New.
Then next band was punk trio Profits. It was their first show. The vocals were not always distinguishable but improved as the set went on. Besides that, their sound and energy was great. Their set was almost as short as Sympson’s. Continue reading
Held in an intimate church setting at the Tewksbury United Methodist Church (TUMC), Transit’s two nights of reflection began with a hearty display of affection, enjoyment, and energy. Genuinely supported by Boston locals Camden and California natives The American Scene, the excitement for what was to come was felt throughout the 200 person capacity space.
The opening band Camden performed with a great fusion of punk and a frenzy of fuzzed-out melodic bliss. Their stage presence was well received, although it appeared that not many attendees knew of them, if at all, before they started playing. They thoughtfully garnered their attention to hyping up Transit’s big first night, but still had a few heads bobbing throughout their brief 20-minute set.
The American Scene was wedged in second, with a sound similar to Daylight but not as gritty vocally. There were many in the audience that were singing along, which surprised me, although by the end of their 30-minute set I was hoping I would know all of their material. We’ll be hearing more news from these guys soon, I’m certain.
To a crowd of about 110 close friends and loyal audience members, Transit ripped through their debut album This WIll Not Define Us (Barrett 2008) and Keep This To Yourself (Run For Cover 2010). What was immediately apparent was their gratitude toward everyone and everything that had been presented before them, including the free slushies available in four different flavors. More striking however, was the crowd reaction to both albums. Although This Will Not Define Us has been their ‘heavy-hitter’ with numerous half-time, two-step friendly parts in every single song, Keep This To Yourself was just as favored by the crowd. There were very few snafus throughout their two forty-five minute sets, even through the songs they had never performed live and have only since started practicing again. Ripping through two CDs is a tall task, but an obvious choice for a band that has been changing since day one and continuously evolving.
With their second performance tomorrow night at the same venue, a showcase of Stay Home (Run For Cover 2009), their most recent release Listen & Forgive (Rise 2011), and likely a few other songs from their early EPs is not to be missed, although it probably will be since tickets for these shows sold out within two days. If you’re looking for new material from Transit, they announced that they are working on a new album, whether that album will feature Patrick Stump (Fallout Boy) as Listen & Forgive did is to be seen.
This week’s VPAC show consisted of three diverse artists: Settler, Fishing the Sky, and Eksi Ekso. There was no particular theme for the show but more of an electronic influence was present than usual. Instrumentals were favored over regular songs.
Opening band Settler was the heaviest act of the night due to their indie punk sound. Their music was energetic and had some interesting guitar work. Unfortunately their vocals would often get buried. They were also plagued by guitar and bass troubles. As a result, they had to stop their set more often than usual. However, they made up for it by holding the audience’s interest with a mixture of songs that were both vocal and instrumental.
Fishing the Sky was an artist similar to last week’s Tyler Arnott. He was a solo artist who made instrumentals by layering sounds with loop pedals. Instead of being a guitarist though he played the drums and the bass. In some of his pieces he used sound bites from his computer. Many of his tunes had a feel comparable to songs by post rock band Explosions in the Sky. One could picture some of them being used in movie soundtracks. Continue reading