Saturday, March 13, 2010

Semester Abroad farewell & Rocket hometown show 3/12

Nick Santino of A Rocket To The Moon acoustic, Semester Abroad, Lannen Fall, Stay, The Bay State and The Blue Pages

Last night, The First Congregational Church in Braintree was the place to be. Not only was it the farewell show for local fan favorite Semester Abroad, but it was also a hometown show for Nick Santino of A Rocket To The Moon! Along with those two talented acts, local main stays like Lannen Fall, The Bay State and The Blue Pages rocked the crowd along with a surprise acoustic set from Anthony of Stay! There couldn't be a more energetic crowd anywhere else last night!
The night started off on the right foot with the electronic french pop dance party that The Blue Pages bring to a show. From what they told me in our interview earlier on in the day, this is a new direction from them but it's a goldmine. With the set they played last night, it is obvious why they are touring with Cash Cash in a few months, and why they will definitely be making some new fans on that tour.

The front man's energy along with the band altogether is exciting and strongly reminds me of Jean Paul Marklouf, the front man of Cash Cash. Overall, it was a great set! Not that I didn't enjoy the last show I saw from Portland band The Bay State, but their set last night was much more of a stand out show in my opinion. The crowd was really into it, and Drew even said he recognized at least a hundred kids tonight. With the last time I caught this talented quartet, it was actually their album release show for their latest EP 'Haunted' and after a few months of practice, they have carved them into their set list beautifully. Three stand out tracks from the album were present in the set with "Liars", "Haunted" and "Hey Hey Glamour Kills".

Something that I've enjoyed about this act in particular is how there are both female and male lead vocals (Susanne and Tom respectively) and it started out early tonight. Susanne got her chance to shine with the second track of the set with "Liars" which the crowd was extremely receptive of. Then both Susanne and Tom rocked their current big hit Haunted and ended their set on the theme song they wrote for Glamour Kills which to Evan was incredibly into. I walked away completely impressed and it's always a good time with these guys!

After The Bay State left the stage, Anthony from Stay did an impromptu acoustic performance. Through out my experiences so far, I know that this band is one of the hardest working groups in Boston so it was great to get a little sneak peak of their live experience! Personally, my favorite part of the set was the genius cover of "Teenage Dirtbag" by Wheatus. The few songs Tony played last night seemed effortless and I'm definitely excited about the possibility of the band being part of the alternative music showcase series we're planning this summer for the Cape!

The last few times I've covered local shows, I always miss Lannen Fall's set completely or I catch the last song and don't really get to experience a true and blue set from the guys. Last night was my chance and they absolutely rocked it. I wish I had been able to see them play before last night but now it will just encourage me to get out to more of their shows! Prior to the show, I sat down with Jay and Danny from the group and they joked that there was probably no one there that even knew them which was completely untrue. From the fan reaction alone and kids in line, they were definitely a buzz word.

They proved the rumors and talk in their set that night, and from the first song I knew I was in for a treat. Since the last EP, due to some throat problems Jay experienced, Danny has come in as the lead singer and front man for the band it seems to come to him effortlessly. From the first chorus, he was on fire and the crowd was definitely eating it up. Smoothly transitioning into one of their more popular tracks, "Holly Hospital" which is a bit more of a dancy track the crowd and band quickly became extremely energetic and kept it up through the entire set. The girls at least, which made up about 95% of the people in attendance got even more swooped into it when Danny dedicated a track to all the cute girls in the audience! They definitely put the power behind the rumors I've heard about their live show and I'll be sure to check them out once again sometime soon!
And now to the reason why kids were treated to such a great line up of bands last night, the boys of Semester Abroad. The band has been together for three years now and recently announced that they will be going different ways, which prompted them to put together the show we all saw last night and it was great! To be honest, I had never been to a live show from them before and I was sold pretty quickly considering. Their pop punk is something we have seen in the past a few times over but there is something fresh about their lyrics and music that really make them different from the others.
They had some definite fans in the audience starting right from the beginning and kids were definitely pumped. I'd say the biggest crowd reaction was for their tunes 'Skyline' and 'Scene Girls Are Overrated' with the first being a much slower ballad that ended on their show on a great night and the latter definitely being much more dance-y. The show was a great end to their careers as Semester Abroad!

Last but definitely not least, Nick Santino of A Rocket To The Moon came out to do an acoustic set of both old and new songs from his band. Being a band that doesn't typically tour MA often due to what they can't control, most Rocket fans in the area come out in huge numbers to catch his home town shows while they can and he seemed to understand that. Maybe that's why he went all the way back to the 'Greetings From...' EP even opening his set with "If Only They Knew". Through out the set he played lots of music off of his band's debut album 'On Your Side' including 'She's Killing Me', 'Give A Damn', 'Mr.Right', 'Like We Used To', 'Dakota' and my personal favorite 'Baby Blue Eyes'.
Overall it was a great set, and made for a great end to the night that we say goodbye to Semester Abroad!

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