Show Review: The Districts @ The Sinclair 2.12.15

by Cara McGrath (Graphic Design), published February 24th 2015

the districts
For a young band, The Districts appear far more experienced than a few years might typically allow. With support from Vundabar and Pine Barons, it was as if having hair past your chin was a requirement for taking the stage at The Sinclair that night. The three bands and their fans are all quite young, and overall had the venue packed from the start of the first act, Vundabar.

Vundabar took the stage at around nine o’clock and certainly helped draw the local crowd early, a group of fans that was large but not too rowdy. Though Pine Barons also had the crowd enthused, Vundabar seemed to more noticeably engage the crowd than the following act. For a show with two openers and a relatively late start from the headliner, watching the opening acts perform did not feel like just passing time.

When The Districts came on at around 11, the crowd was even more electrified. Since The Districts had released A Flourish and Spoil only two days prior to their appearance in Cambridge, the crowd was visibly anticipating the performance of new songs. It was incredible to see how many people were already singing along to every song, or at least the choruses, despite such a recent release. The Districts pulled through with several songs from the new record, including singles “Peaches” and “4th and Roebling,” but actually started the set with the old one, “Rocking Chair.” The initial moments of the opening song had a faulty start, but once the band regrouped it was smooth sailing from there.

The Pennsylvania alt-rock group played other old fan favorites like “Lyla” and “Funeral Beds” as well. But having seen The Districts once before, I was considerably more excited to hear more of the new tracks live. One that stole the show was “Suburban Smell,” which also is a major standout on A Flourish and Spoil. Front man Rob Grote performed this one solo while the rest of the band stood by silently, and the sincerity and emotion in Grote’s voice as he sang “Suburban Smell” was definitely a highlight of the night. During this lull, one would find it hard not to notice the decapitated female mannequin lights that surrounded the musicians if they had been missed until then. Another highlight came in the encore with “Young Blood,” the eight-plus minute gem from the band’s new album, which provided the perfect way to jam out and end the show as well as lengthened what could have been a slightest.

It is clear that The Districts are quickly gaining well-deserved attention; the band also sold out their shows at venues in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster in the same week as The Sinclair in Cambridge. Additionally, The Sinclair show followed the band’s appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers the night before. Small shows like this with The Districts may not last for long with their budding success, and for this reason their night at The Sinclair is certainly a show to remember.

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