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Show Review: Sad13 @ Middle East Upstairs 12.14.16

To conclude their first ever tour, Sad13 (the solo project of Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis) played Upstairs at the Middle East, which Sadie pointed out happened to be the same stage Speedy Ortiz played on their first headlining gig in Boston. Kicking off the show was a solo set from Told Slant who joined the tour for its final five days. Typically behind the drums, Felix Walworth instead played guitar,… continue reading

Show Review: Kevin Devine & The Goddamn Band @ Royale 12.10.16

Certain albums are made for summer: fun, carefree, relaxing. Others provide a fitting companion to the changing of the leaves and your crumbling motivation as the fall semester gains momentum. Kevin Devine’s latest tour package, anchored by Pinegrove, Petal and Julien Baker, provides the perfect soundtrack to a cozy winter night in, and when the tour hit Royale this December in the middle of a sub-zero wind chill weekend, the… continue reading

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Show Review: Foals @ House of Blues 11.1.16

I first discovered Foals back in 2012, and by that point they had only released their first two albums: Antidotes and Total Life Forever. These two LPs, rich with blends of jittery guitar riffs and energetic beats, made for nice and nimble math rock. There was some evolution between the two, as singer Yannis Philippakis’ vocal work went from a brash, in-your-face approach to a more refined and apprehensive style…. continue reading

Photo by Andi Elloway

Show Review: Balance and Composure @ The Royale 11.14.16

They come around every year, just as winter’s chill begins its unwelcome invasion: the emo package tours. The one that recently stopped by the Royale, anchored by Balance and Composure with support from Foxing and Mercury Girls, was a strong entry in this new seasonal tradition.     Mercury Girls are kind of a Philadelphia indie supergroup, featuring members of well-regarded local bands like Literature, and their dreamy yet propulsive indie-pop… continue reading

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Show Review: Local H @ Brighton Music Hall 11.10.16

[Author’s Note: I did not see the headlining band Helmet’s performance; I left after Local H’s set upon hearing that Leonard Cohen had died to join my radio co-host at 104.9 WRBB to DJ a tribute show. I apologize to Tastemakers’ readers for the subsequent incompleteness of this review.] It’s tempting to wonder why Local H, one of the ‘90s alt-rock boom’s most underrated bands, never achieved the mainstream success… continue reading

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Show Review: RÜFÜS DU SOL @ Paradise Rock Club 11.4.16

RÜFÜS DU SOL, the alternative dance trio from Sydney, Australia spent Friday night at Paradise Rock Club spreading their energy through a packed crowd of psyched concertgoers. Dena Amy took the stage first, mixing smooth, feel-good beats that the steadily growing crowd bounced and swayed to. The second opener, Danny Harley (better known as The Kite String Tangle), showcased his multifaceted talent as a DJ, pianist and singer through his… continue reading

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Show Review: Daughter @ The Royale 11.2.16

Daughter’s best songs, like the delicate “Landfill” and agonized “Smother,” are steeped in shadow and smoke, rolling dissections of heartache and hopelessness that feel at once crushingly intimate and hauntingly universal. The London trio’s set on Wednesday at the Royale, accentuated by swirling fog and icy lighting, seemed designed to mirror that same sonic sparsity, even as the band prioritized material from their latest, rockiest record Not to Disappear. Sheltered… continue reading

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Show Review: Band of Horses @ The Orpheum 9.20.16

I was eight years old when my dad took me to an REO Speedwagon concert, somewhere in the 2004. To him, songs like “Roll With the Changes” were anthems from his high school days that he was gladly reliving as a full grown adult. When Ben Bridwell shouted, “To know me as hardly golden – Is to know me all wrong, they were”, I bet somebody at the Orpheum that… continue reading

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Show Review: Yoni & Geti @ Brighton Music Hall 6.9.16

Yoni & Geti have a lot to overcome in terms of past identities. Yoni Wolf’s name is inescapably tied in with his alternative hip-hop band Why?, and Serengeti’s primary claim to fame is his participation in supergroup Sisyphus. Thus, the two artists are forced to forge a new identity in the wake of fans who may want them to simply return to the old. In concert, they combatted this problem… continue reading

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Show Review: BORIS @ The Paradise Rock Club 8.9.16

I picked a rough night to forget my earplugs. On August ninth, three-piece Japanese metal band Boris tore the roof off of the paradise and left me near-deaf for days to follow. Their explosive performance of their now-classic 2006 album Pink brought an energy and charisma that smashed through the language barrier and delivered well over an hour of pure unbridled hype. That being said, Boris were by no means… continue reading

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Show Review: Buzzcocks @ Royale 9.27.16

  Buzzcocks may not have been the first punk band to write love songs, but they were the first punk band to write love songs that sounded like punk songs. While Ramones used ‘50s girl-group saccharin to keep feelings at a safely ironic distance, Buzzcocks set their brutally incisive lyrics about relationships to the same power-chord pummeling that accompanied their songs about alienation. That alone makes Buzzcocks one of first-wave… continue reading