4 Red Hot New England Bands
Acts You Need to Know
by Cara Giaimo
Live Recap: TT the Bears
Cambridge, MA - 1/10/12
Boston treats her children well, and her children return the favor. Last week, TT the Bear’s Place hosted a quartet of local bands, each of which put its own spin on indie-pop and got the crowd spinning in turn. We thought this would be the perfect chance to introduce readers to four emerging New England acts on the rise...
Opening duo The Fantasies came in all the way from Northampton on a surf-rock geyser and splashed the room with their psychedelia-spiked dance music. Slowdim followed them up with a set of jaunty, ambient pop songs built around tight drumming, three-part harmonies, and sparkly golden chords from a sparkly black guitar.
The Cambridge-based band Night Fruit then broke the mold with a half-dozen songs as juicy and dark as their name suggests. Luke Sullivan’s grounded, tom-heavy drums and Jonathan Gill’s spacey synths and noir guitar balance each other, and frontwoman Amanda Dellevigne’s strong voice hovers between them with the set-jawed grace of a tightrope walker. Watch this space – this reviewer will be checking out their studio stuff in the near future.
Headliner You Can Be A Wesley went on a little after 11:00 and immediately made the late night seem young again. Spending a lot of time with their new EP, Nightosphere, had gotten me ready for a certain kind of show, full of musicianship and exuberance and polish. Live, though, YCBW goaded their songs just a little faster, grittier, and louder, often muscling into a 16-bar jam rather than pulling back for a pretty bridge. They ran through about ten songs this way, mostly cuts from Nightosphere, feeding off their own momentum and turning formerly precise riffs and matter-of-fact lyrics (“we are robbed blind and we’ve been lied to” from ‘Prisoners’) banged-up and anthemic.
You Can Be A Wesley - Old In Florida
Keaton Kustler photo
At the same time, the lightheartedness evident in the band’s name and music videos shone through in their on-stage personalities – bassist Nick Curran ranged around like a lanky herbivorous dinosaur, drummer Dylan Ramsey made some world-class drum faces, and guitarist Winston MacDonald ripped through his leads in a t-shirt with a duck on it.
The Wesleys pinballed around singer-guitarist Saara Untracht-Oakner like she was the sun. She commanded the stage appropriately, only leaving her center spot to occasionally lean further into a solo. The zoo onstage inspired the audience to let loose – by the last song, a rich and fuzzy version of “Old in Florida,” there was a mosh pit going on in the front right corner, a one-man cheerleading squad in the front left, and fists pumping all over the place.
An Amazing Night - At one point, I turned around and saw the guy behind me standing stock-still except for his hand, which was placed over his heart and tapping out the beat. Local music: good for the community, good exercise, and good for the soul.