Night Lights Brightens Boylston (Cafe 939 7/29)


Four bands played at Café 939 on Tuesday – and every one of them brought an infectious, price crowd-pleasing performance.

Night Lights celebrated the release of their debut album, Here We Come, at the show. Glow sticks were passed out to everyone in the crowd before their set, setting the tone for the rest of the night. The group came out all in collared blue shirts, with the exception of the drummer. They brought energy to their performance from start to finish, announcing to the crowd, “We’re here to play some songs, make you dance, and make you feel some feelings.”

It was apparent from the first song that Night Lights hailed from Berklee – with perfect live mixing, spot-on timing and impressive skill to their playing.  The group blends a mix of pop, indie rock and soul. Lead singer and guitarist Mau Jimenez brought a vocal performance to the night that was almost too flawless to come in live form.


Night Lights’ music could easily be nestled into top-40 hits, but showcases compositions that are just interesting enough to attract listeners from all walks of life. This was most apparent in their rendition of “Stutter,” with flawless transitions that drifted from hazy dreamscapes to fast-paced choruses culminating in an intricate mess of guitar and noise.

Cincinnati, Ohio-natives Public co-headlined the night, marking their first appearance in Boston. The group played straightforward, digestible indie-pop music that’s reminiscent of The Kooks.

Public’s music highlights two vocalists and familiar bass lines that are easy to fall into. At rare times, the band reminded me of Franz Ferdinand but with a distinct teen-heartthrob edge.

Public got everyone dancing with their indie pop cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” saying they wanted to play a song by their favorite composer. Whether you liked them or not, their music was infectious and surely stuck in the crowd’s head for days.

Cordelia & the Buffalo took the stage before Public, a 6-piece donning colorful face paint and a shared guitarist with Night Lights. The group brought catchy compositions and a strong stage presence, all tied together with powerful vocals. Cordelia & the Buffalo frequently interacted with the crowd, providing all the feels and explaining about “Take It Up a Notch,” “It’s about not being afraid to say what you want to say, to be who you want to be.”

Animal Flag kicked off the night: a 5-piece band with a unique twist to Bright Eyes-style emotionally driven music. The group played a slew of new songs, including “Sensation.” Tied together with a bassist in a glittered lucha libre mask and a slide guitarist, Animal Flag is definitely a local act to see.