Camera Obscura at the Somerville Theatre

On Further Review
by Jen Peterson & Sean Hafferty

The Scene:
Somerville Theatre - 6/25/2009

Camera Obscura

Photographs by Sean Hafferty

Admission of Entertainment - Ok, I’ll admit it: I had never really listened to Camera Obscura (RSL Best of the First Half 2009) before this night. (You can smack me later.) I know everyone loves them, and after reading the write-up in the Metro, I was intrigued. When it was learned there was an extra ticket, I found myself the 'correct caller' and got to go.

NOW, due to my ignorance and the Metro article, I was prepared for “Mope Pop.” And perhaps it comes through more on the CDs. All I can say is, I found them delightful and fizzy; a 60s-esque blend of Herman’s Hermits, The Crystals, Sixpence None the Richer, and Rilo Kiley. No moping allowed.

I may well have been the only person in the audience who didn’t know every word to every song. Each tune inspired some level of audience participation, be it sassy clap…clap-claps, seated versions of Riverdance, or drunken hoots lauding Scotland.

In a soft brogue, Tracyanne introduced the band’s one and only cover of the night: the Boss’s “Tougher Than the Rest.” Then with a jaunty four-count on the drumsticks, they embarked upon back-to-back, get-up-and-dance crowd pleasers, “Come Back Margaret” and “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken.” Folks of all ages bopped and swayed like the Rydell High dance-off extras in Grease.

Encore cheering brought Kenny and Traceyanne back on stage for a pared-down, raw-hearted presentation of “Other Towns and Cities.” Her voice was starting to go (what is it about Boston that keeps robbing lead singers of their pipes?!), but she more than managed to hold her own and our hearts before being rejoined by Carey, Gavin, Lee, and François (who, with playful guit-artistry and bluesy Bright Eyes-esque songs, warmed us up in lieu of Anni Rossi).

The opening notes of “If Looks Could Kill” launched the crowd back onto their feet. The night wrapped up with the frisky “Razzle Dazzle Rose” (for which the myriad drunks had been calling out for throughout the evening..., and which called to mind the chorus of “Midnight Confessions” by the Grass Roots).

We filtered out, smiles stretched across our faces and springs in our step. Maudlin, Schmaudlin.

Camera Obscura
RSL Streaming Photo Album

images by Sean Hafferty

Camera Obscura
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