Review: Fedavees – The Barbazons – The Prefab Messiahs – Secret Lover at the Middle East Upstairs 3-19-2015

This was a local show that I have been looking forward to for a few weeks now. After a very fast ride on the T to Central Square in Cambridge, I arrived at the Middle East Upstairs. Once inside, I found a good spot amongst the crowd to watch the Fedavees, who had just started playing.

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The Fedavees

The Fedavees have a psychedelic fuzz rock sound and were a great way to start out this show featuring Boston area bands. After their set, I ordered a Harpoon UFO from the bar and waited for The Barbazons to go on.

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The Barbazons

The Barbazons, recently changed their name from The Fagettes. You can read more about the reasons why in this excellent article on Boston Hassle by singer Melanie Bernier. This is another band I have seen several times before and as always, they got the crowd moving. They seem to do it all…double drums, saxophone, climbing up on the speakers, and they definitely bring the fun! There was a little bit of a Freddie Mercury kind of vibe going on here.

I went for a plain old Sam Adams Lager since they didn’t have Sam Adams Brick Red, which I tried at PAX East a few weeks ago and loved, only Cold Snap, which is terrible.

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The Prefab Messiahs

The Prefab Messiahs were up next. With one member wearing an old school McDonalds uniform and the others in crazy retro suits, which at times blended into the projections behind them. The band thanked the crowd, then went into their first song and killed it for the rest of the night. To be honest, I wasn’t all that familiar with these guys but they were full of old school sounding psych goodness and it was great!

Back to a Harpoon UFO for the last beer of the night.

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Secret Lover

Secret Lover were the final band of the night. With singer Sally Horowitz dancing all over the stage and even out into the crowd. It was kind of like an indie music burlesque show and it was a fun set!

There was a pretty good mix of older and college aged people, all of whom seemed to be having a good time. It was a really good night of local music and I got to see some bands that were new to me. I grabbed some post show food at Falafel Palace, then caught the train back home to get a little bit sleep before work in the morning.

Review: Boston Fuzzstival 2014 at the Middle East 8-02-14

I had missed the first Fuzzstival last year because it conflicted with another event I already had plans to go to, so I was really looking forward to it this year. Although the Boston Fuzzstival 2014 actually started at 1pm, I wasn’t able to go until the evening, which meant that I missed some bands that I really like. After a pretty quick ride on the T, I was at the Middle East downstairs in Central Square, where Magic Shoppe were already playing to sort of a small crowd. I went to the bar and ordered some sort of dunkelweiss that the bartender assured me was “smooth”, then proceeded to get closer to the stage.

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Magic Shoppe

Magic Shoppe are a psychedelic band from Boston that had six people on the stage. Their music reminded me of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and they would definitely fit in perfectly on one of the stages at Austin Psych Fest. At one point, they announced that their cassettes would be free at the back table and there was a mad rush to get one (I was unsuccessful).

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28 Degrees Taurus

After a short break, 28 Degrees Taurus were up next. These guys and girl are one of my favorite local bands and not just because singer/guitarist Jinsen Leiu is the guy behind the great Deep Heaven Now festivals, but because they are an awesome band and seem like pretty cool people as well. I was up front for their set and really feeling their psych/dream pop music. They even played a couple of brand new songs that were really good.

Back to the bar for a Harpoon UFO, which has become my “go to” beer while at shows lately as I waited for The Fagettes to set up.

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The Fagettes

The Fagettes played a pretty wild set of garage rock on what seemed to be a pretty crowded stage, due to all of the people in the band. These guys were really fun!

I decided to switch up my drink this time around and opted for a Harpoon Dark. This was a mistake as this beer was a little harsh and I didn’t really like it, but forced it down as I waited for the Fat Creeps to go on.

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Fat Creeps

Fat Creeps were one of several local bands that I like and wanted to see live. They had kind of a dreamy indie rock sound with a little bit of surf pop that worked really well.

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Doug Tuttle

I started having issues with my earplugs, probably due to taking them out too many times, but finally managed to get them to work. Doug Tuttle were up next and admittedly I wasn’t all that familiar with them, although I did see some of their set at Austin Psych Fest this year. This was probably the most mellow set of the night, at least during the time I was there. A really tall girl in the crowd seemed to like them…a lot! I don’t know what the name of it was, but the last song they played, with its feedback at the end was pretty cool.

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Ghost Box Orchestra

Ghost Box Orchestra, a band I really like but never saw live for one reason or another were up next. With a mix of synthesizers and long droney sounding songs, they did not disappoint. This was one of my favorite sets of the night.

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New Highway Hymnal

The final band of the night and festival were The New Highway Hymnal. I first heard of them from a coworker a couple of years ago, but never got a chance to see them live until now. They shut the place down with an absolutely amazing set of noisy psychedelia! It was a very high energy way to end the festival!

I picked up a Fuzzstival t-shirt and sought out a slice of pizza from ABC Pizza, which was quite an experience due to the conversations of a few drunk girls. I was regretting not getting to the show earlier and seeing all of the bands, especially considering how fast this night went by. It was a fun time with a pretty cool crowd and I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next one!