Review: boy pablo at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge, MA 7-8-2018

boy pablo sign

I got to Alewife a little later than I wanted to, but soon enough, in a repeat of exactly a week ago, I was at the Middle East in Central Square for yet another show. Tonight it was Norwegian indie pop band boy pablo. I had decided to buy a ticket the night before after putting it off for whatever reason, but it sold out shortly after I purchased the ticket.

I’m guessing a lot of people, including myself first became aware of them as a suggested video on Youtube. I watched the video and fell in love with the song.

boy pablo (yes, in all of it’s lowercase splendor) were the only band playing. Although doors were at 7pm, the show didn’t start until 9:30pm and the Middle East down was completely packed for this sold out show. I ordered a Jack’s Abbey Hoponius Union and found a spot near the upper bar.

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boy pablo

When the band came out, the crowd went absolutely crazy! I have to say, this was one of those few times you could actually tell that a band really appreciated the people who came out to see them. Flashing giant smiles and acknowledging the crowd, and hamming it up a bit, they really had the crowd behind them.

Lead singer Pablo Muñoz definitely charmed the crowd and comes off as extremely likable (to be fair, the entire band comes off that way as well). It seemed like they played just about every song they have put out, especially since most songs are pretty short.

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boy pablo

At one point, the band did an acapella version of “Afternoon Delight” as well as covers of Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Michael Jackson as seen in the video below. They play for about an hour and 10 minutes with 2 songs during the encore, which became a huge dance party. This was one of the most fun shows I’ve been to in a long time and I did not regret buying that ticket at the last minute at all.

boy pablo 2018 tour dates:
10/28/18 – The Button Factory – Dublin, Ireland

10/29/18 – Belgrave Music Hall – Leeds, United Kingdom

10/30/18 – Club Academy – Manchester, United Kingdom

10/31/18 – Fiddlers – Bristol, United Kingdom

11/01/18 – Electric Ballroom – London, United Kingdom

11/02/18 – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris – Paris, France

11/03/18 – LA GRANDE HALLE DE LA VILLETTE – Paris, France

11/14/18 – Shibuya Tsutaya O-Nest – Shinjuku-ku, Japan

11/15/18 – Modeci – Seoul, South Korea

11/16/18 – Omni Space – Beijing, China

11/17/18 – Arkham – Shanghai, China

11/18/18 – The Wall – Taipei City, Taiwan

11/20/18 – Mom Live House – Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong

11/22/18 – Pavilion – Bishan, Singapore

11/23/18 – Kuningan City Ballroom – Jakarta, Indonesia

11/24/18 – Moonstar Studio – Bangkok, Thailand

11/25/18 – Century City Mall – Makati, Philippines

Review: Littlefoot, Doug Tuttle, Calvin Love, Jacco Gardner at the Middle East Upstairs 6-14-2015

After several delays on my way to Cambridge, including construction on 95 and very long times between red line trains at Alewife, I was finally at the Middle East upstairs for a show that I had been looking forward to all week. Littlefoot were already playing as I made my way through the crowd for a better view.

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Littlefoot

I first saw Littlefoot at AS220’s Foo Fest in Providence a couple of years ago and instantly liked them. With a hazy throwback to 60’s pop music, they played a really catchy set! It was a good way to start the night.

I ordered a Harpoon UFO, of course, then made my way back through the packed crowd to get closer to the stage for Doug Tuttle.

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Doug Tuttle

Every time I see Doug Tuttle, I end up liking them more and more. After adjusting some projectors that seemed to be blinding the band, they played an awesome set of psych rock. They ended with a frenzy of guitar and bass distortion, which was really cool.

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Calvin Love

Calvin Love was up next. Admittedly, I wasn’t familiar at all with this band, who are from Edmonton, Canada, but ended becoming a fan a few songs in. They had an 80’s synth pop sound, with Love splitting duties between guitar and synthesizer. This was my favorite band of the night.

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Jacco Gardner

Jacco Gardner, yet another band I have seen at Austin Psych Fest, took a little while to get set up, but once they did, the band went right into their mellow sounding psychedelia. Jacco Gardner seemed kind of shy on stage, and from what I managed to catch of it, they played a pretty good set. I ended up having to leave a few songs in, because it was a Sunday night and the T doesn’t run late, even though the show did.

This whole night had a bit of a retro vibe to it and I ended up buying Calvin Love’s new CD “Super Future”, which I’m really enjoying. A few tracks can be streamed on his Bandcamp page if you’re curious. It was a rough Monday morning at work, but soo worth it to see some great bands!

Concert Review: Cooling Towers, Endless Wave, Plushgun at the Middle East in Cambridge 3/17/12

This show took place on St. Patricks Day, which of course, is a major event in Boston, so I decided to take the T to Central Square rather than drive. About 15 minutes later and a mild foot injury thanks to a drunk St. Paddy’s reveler in pointy heels, I arrived at the Middle East upstairs for the show. I had been looking forward to this show for a few weeks as I was really there to finally see Endless Wave live. But first a drink is needed! Harpoon UFO in hand, I took the 5 steps from the bar to the floor and caught the first band of the night, Cooling Towers, who were already playing.

Cooling Towers

Cooling Towers is an indie rock band from Boston. I have to say that this is one of those times where a band sounded a lot better live than their Bandcamp page led me to believe. There was a pretty good sized crowd, unusual for that early in the night for any band, so all was good. I managed to catch the last 4 or 5 songs of their set which included a cover of The Cure’s “In Between Days”. I definitely liked what I heard and will be checking them out again for sure!

Comic girl

While waiting for Endless Wave to set up, this girl gets up on stage and grabs the microphone and makes a bad attempt at telling jokes. I guess she’s trying to be a comedian but kind of failed. It also didn’t help that nobody could really hear her either. Sorry comic girl, whoever you are, you just weren’t funny, but I’ll give you props for getting up there in front of everyone and giving it a shot.

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Another beer, another band. Up next was Endless Wave, a band that I have wanted to see live for a while now, but never had the chance. Not entirely shoegaze, dream pop, or indie rock but somewhere in the middle, they make really catchy and accessible music. At this point, there was a pretty sizable crowd in the small room. Considering that this was St. Patricks Day, this was a dedicated fan base. The band played a pretty straightforward set with little downtime between songs and seemed to be over rather quickly, but sounded really good.

Once again, the funny girl got on stage. This time the crowd was soo loud talking amongst themselves that you couldn’t hear a word she was saying.

Next was Plushgun from Brooklyn. Their music is probably best known from being used in a Comcast commercial, and most recently on an episode of the Jersey Shore. Once they started playing, everyone seemed to be dancing for the rest of the night. It was obvious that most of the crowd was here to see these guys since it got pretty crowded at this point. Plushgun play the kind of indie synth-pop that is really catchy. The crowd sang along with a few of the songs, which seemed like an easy thing to do. At one point, a Hello Kitty guitar made an appearance for a couple of songs. The band really seemed to be enjoying themselves, which always translates to everyone having a good time.

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I went to this show not really knowing what to expect but ended up having a really fun time. All three bands sounded great and the crowd was really into all of them as well, which always makes it better. My only complaint is that I really wanted to buy some of the bands cd’s and even though there was a merch table set up, nobody was actually there to sell anything. What’s up with that???

Cooling TowersFacebook, Twitter, Bandcamp
Endless WaveFacebook, Twitter, Bandcamp
PlushgunFacebook, Twitter

Nebraska Pop Festival 2010 takes place September 15-19!

Nebraska Pop Festival 2010 Poster

I know this is cutting it pretty close, but the Nebraska Pop Festival takes place from September 15th-19th in Omaha. This is the 2nd year of the festival and it benefits Omaha’s college radio station, MavRadio, so it is definitely worth supporting, as is all college radio.

The festival features bands from 13 different states: Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington and California as well as several international bands from Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, France and Canada. Tickets are $5 nightly and are available at the door only, anytime during each Nebraska Pop Festival event.

Nebraska Pop Festival 2010 lineup:

Wednesday, September 15th NIGHT ONE @ Barley Street Tavern. Official start time 8:00PM with end time approximately 1:30AM (This show is 5 USD at the door) *21+

1. Panda Face (Lincoln, Nebraska)
2. You’re So Cool (Gainesville, Florida)
3. Cleemann (solo) (Copenhagen, Denmark)
4. Coney Island (Madison, Wisconsin)
5. The Bedsit Infamy (Denver, Colorado)

Thursday, September 16th NIGHT TWO @ Barley Street Tavern. Official start time 8:00PM with end time approximately 1:30AM (This show is 5 USD at the door) *21+

1. You Don’t Know Me (Omaha, Nebraska)
2. Normandie Wilson (San Diego, California)
3. Boy Of Bark (Salt Lake City, Utah)
4. Dexter Poindexter (Wheeling, Illinois)
5. Electric Needle Room (Kansas City, Kansas)

Friday, September 17th NIGHT THREE @ The Pizza Shoppe Collective. Official start time 7:00PM with end time approximately 1:30AM (This show is 5 USD at the door) *ALL AGES

1. Floating Opera (Lincoln, Nebraska)
2. Gilbe (Des Moines, Iowa & Chicago, Illinois)
3. Kissing Party (Denver, Colorado)
4. The Mother Z’s (Chicago, Illinois)
5. Seaside Stars (Berlin, Germany)
6. Alone With Everybody (Toulouse, France)
7. Thunder Power (Omaha, Nebraska)

Saturday, September 18th NIGHT FOUR @ The Pizza Shoppe Collective. Official start time 7:00PM with end time approximately 1:30AM (This show is 5 USD at the door) *ALL AGES

1. Eric In Outerspace (Omaha, Nebraska)
2. Mammoth Life (Lawrence, Kansas)
3. Matty Cries (Seattle, Washington)
4. Paris When It Sizzles! (Omaha, Nebraska)
5. James and the Express (Olympia, Washington)
6. Doug Hoyer (Edmonton, Canada)
7. Maid Marian (Iowa City, Iowa)

Sunday, September 19th FINAL NIGHT @ The Sydney. Official start time 7:00PM with end time approximately 1:30AM (This show is 5 USD at the door) *21+

1. The Open Letters *ex Apples In Stereo (Lexington, Kentucky)
2. Paper City (Long Beach, California)
3. Cleemann *full band (Denmark/Omaha & Lincoln Nebraska)
4. Modes of Resuscitation (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
5. Spencer McGillicutty (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
6. The Homestories (Winterthur, Switzerland)
7. The Wandering Bears (Iowa City, Iowa)

Sampling some of the bands on their Myspace pages, this looks to be a pretty good 5 nights of indie pop music. Definitely check out the free mixtape of bands playing, especially since there is some really good music on there. I really wish I could go this year and would have made an attempt had I known about it a little sooner, but for those who are going, have fun!!