Of course I spent way too much time dicking around Lower Allston and missed Arvid Noe side-project Gero & Ide, and Speedy Ortiz (btw, Arvid Noe has a lot of side projects and they’re all really good, there must be a practice space in the back of Bagel Rising) (also btw, Speedy Ortiz shreds ‘til they’re dead).
The Brooklyn caravan was a bit tardy coming into town, but the Dreamhaus crowd never lost patience. And to speak for a minute about Dreamhaus, they’re one of the best DIY booking collectives in town right now. Most of these bands would never make it to Allston (at least not this early in their existence) if it wasn’t for Liz Pelly and friends. This show was meant to raise money for them to buy a PA. For all of our sake, I hope it was a success.
Night Manager was an instant sell. I had been into their various EPs on bandcamp, but live, they connected with me more immediately and in a much bigger way. Lead singer Caitlin Seager sets a tone for them on one level, with sunny and lush vocals, akin to a Tennis or Summer Camp. On another level, the rhythm section has the ability to sit back with rich haze-pop, or pounce with furious, attack-style punk. While the two facets can present polar opposites, they are actually a match made in heaven, and the sweaty basement crowd reflected the band’s energy in a joyous blob of sways and shoves. Also, guitarist David Tassy was gnarly and rocked a gorilla t-shirt that made me jealous.
Total Slacker has developed quite the name in their hood and beyond. Last year’s LP, Thrashin’, and the success of the single “Crystal Necklace” have put them on the map, but don’t let it discount their tireless touring efforts as well. Their vintage drone-rock provided the best late night treat possible. Sure there’s some trueness to their name, a certain nonchalant quality their stonergaze approach, but it translates really well live, especially in the moments of beauty when Tucker Rountree and Emily Oppenheimer connect on harmonies. Like Night Manager before them, Total Slacker showed heaviness at times, but even when they weren’t in overdrive, I was drawn, along with the other 90’s kidz in the crowd to their nostalgic lyrics and playful character. It was like a classic night in a suburban cellar drinking light beer and listening to a high school friend’s band minus the novelty and the shitty music. I miss those days 3.