After a much needed short nap, I made my way to The Sinclair in Harvard Square for this show, which I was really looking forward to. Once inside, I went straight to the bar for a Six Point Sweet Action beer and then made my way close to the stage. There wasn’t that big of a crowd just yet, so it was pretty easy to get up front as Doug Tuttle had just started playing.
I have seen Boston’s Doug Tuttle many times, but this seemed to be one of the mellowest sets I’ve seen them play. That’s not to say they didn’t rock, because they totally did and it was a good way to start the night. About half of the songs were from their latest album, It Calls On Me, which is pretty good. As the band ended with the chilled out “Turn This Love”, which morphs into a psychedelic feedback filled jam, the now bigger crowd erupted in cheers and applause. I never get tired of seeing that song played live.
Between bands, I went to the bar for another beer, this time around being a Wormtown Be Hoppy which was recommended to me and it was really good.
Keeping the mellow sounds going, Widowspeak, who are from Brooklyn, were the only band of the night not to have ties to the Boston area. With singer Molly Hamilton’s voice setting the tone of dreamy indie rock that never got too crazy, except for the part where guitarist Robert Earl Thomas started playing guitar behind his head, they held the attention of the crowd for nearly the whole set. This was a band that I have tried to see for a while now and I was not disappointed.
Previously having seen Quilt at Austin Psych Fest and Fuzztival (and they are playing it again this year), this was my third time seeing them and it might have been the best I have ever heard them sound. Playing a few songs that singer Anna Fox Rochinski said were about the Boston area, the band seemed to be having a great time on stage, even joking around at times. I ended up having to leave during the encore to make sure I didn’t miss one of the last trains back to Alewife.
This was a really good night of music that was more on the mellow side, and I had a pretty good time. After quick run through Tasty Burger for some food, I caught the train and made my way home.
I got to the Alewife T stop only to find the all too familiar problem of the Red Line not running between there and Harvard Square, which meant having to take a bus, which in turn takes longer. After meeting up with a friend for pre-show drinks at Charlie’s Kitchen, then dinner in Harvard Square, we were off to the Sinclair for the Gateway Drugs/Swerverdriver show.
This was my first time at the Sinclair and it was much smaller inside than I expected (the outside of the building looks huge), but it was really cool. We found a spot on the second floor which gave us a pretty good view of everything, although I would have preferred to be on the floor in front of the stage. I got a Jack’s Abby Smoke & Dagger beer which as it’s name suggests, had very smokey flavor to it.
Gateway Drugs came out to a pretty packed club. I was already familiar with their music, so I knew what to expect, but my friend was surprised and really got into them. With crunchy guitars and switching off on boy/girl vocals, they played a pretty awesome set. They ended with an amazing cover of The Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction”. I think they won the night.
For my next drink, I tried the 16 Point Sweet Action. It was a lot lighter and had a little bit of a fruity taste to it, definitely a change from the smokey beer.
The place was completely filled with people by the time Swervedriver went on. Lead singer/guitarist Adam Franklin was surrounded by a LOT of pedals in the middle of the stage, with Jimmy Hartridge on guitar and Mick Quinn from Supergrass. who is filling in on bass for this tour on each end. Although they seemed to be a little more subdued on stage than Gateway Drugs, they were really, really, loud. Things got a little off track after a couple of issues with the effects pedals during their set, but a tech fixed them and became the hero of the night.
Most of the people around us were really friendly, which is something I’m not used to at Boston shows (but go to any city outside of the Northeast and you’ll walk away with at least 10 new friends, go figure!). Both bands were amazing and we had a really great time. On our way out, Gateway Drugs were at their merch table talking with fans, which is always good to see. The Sinclair is a pretty cool venue to see a show and I plan to go there more often.