This (Last) Week in Music – Show Recaps from DREAMERS, Lucy Rose, Courtney Marie Andrews, Dylan Rockoff
I make a serious effort to be out at live music as much as I can. It’s hard to cover bands when you don’t actually make it out to shows right? So something new we’re going to start doing is a rundown of all the acts we saw each week. We steadily post alerts about shows we think you should be going to, shows we actively go to as well. Keep posted, the piece will run every Sunday. Maybe we’re taking a note from John Oliver, so what.
I started out this week with heading out to Great Scott in Allston to catch Courtney Marie Andrews with that beautiful country twang of hers. Her voice is gorgeous and screams a mix of Reba McEntire and Patsy Cline, both legends. With her new record coming out last week, “May Your Kindness Remain”, and fresh off an incredibly successful SXSW trek, it’s clear this find will only blow up. She with her band serenaded the crowd kicking off the set with one of my standouts for the set, “Honest Life”. I really connected with her very personal lyrics and highlights were definitely “Rough Around the Edges” and “Back to You”.
Andrews is sure to be soon classic and I think is only of a wave of these country artists that are on the alternative side that aren’t these perfect little Southern belles. It’s a new generation of country and with her latest album just coming out last week, she is sure to be one of the standouts.
Tuesday, we kept up the lady rocker love with something a little bit different with the name Lucy Rose. Rose has been a long time UK singer-songwriter who screams girl next door with a little bit of fire. Even during the sold-out show at The Rockwell, a great little black box theatre in Somerville, she talked about how people had started filtering out and even said she had only four songs left, including her “not doing an encore” but just an “added song”, so you can hold in that wee, don’t worry about that phone call. Literally twenty seconds after she said it, two girls walked out and she gave them the finger when they had passed through the curtain if not slightly before they walked out so they could see it. That slick fire in Rose is one of the reasons I think her fans are so helpless to adoring her.
The set up was simple for the live band. It was just her and two gentlemen on guitar to violin to keyboards which Rose also played for several songs. Before I had gotten to the venue, she had spent time at her merchandise table where people had submitted requests and she included them in her set. Even saying that certain ones like “My Ride Now” and “Don’t You Worry” had their first time in the set on the whole run that is over in just a few days. As I walked in she was playing one of my long-time standouts, “Middle of The Bed”, and continued to work her way through many of her biggest songs. It was a room full of listening with no interruptions and flowed so naturally. The vibe was hauntingly beautiful.
Rose told stories in between almost every song including talking about how she never set out to write a love song but since her husband Will, who was there onsite switching out the guitars and standing in as the merchandise guy, had had to listen to her play her songs all day at home, she wrote him “Love Song”. And it was easily my favorite track of the night with its incredibly sweet lyrics including the line ‘You’re my beginning, you’re my life to the end’. Even coming to her final set in the song, “Shiver”, it seemed as if she was sneaking Will’s name into the track several times which was so precious. The show ended in a standing ovation which was fully warranted on Rose’s part.
Wednesday was something a wee bit different when I headed out to Middle East to catch local talent Dylan Rockoff when he opened it up for Vinyl Theatre. Rockoff is in his final semester at Northeastern versus the typical Berklee we see so often where he is actually studying Finance but clearly has found his calling in music. The crowd was fully out for him and it’s clear his future is bright which will only be assisted by his move to Nashville once he graduates. With his latest record, “115 Gainsborough”, named after the address where he recorded most of the record and a familiar street to many student musicians in Boston, he played a strong 40 or so minute set including mostly originals but two covers, with “Cry Me a River” and “Falling”. He opened up the set with his first single “Full on Down” and asked the crowd, ‘If you don’t know it just sing it’. The crowd knew practically every word of this super radio-ready voice. He rocked his way through many of the tracks he’s released to constant applause.
Friday night, I pulled a doubleheader. Both incredibly different from each other. My first stop of the night was at Brighton Music Hall for Salinas, California’s Strawberry Girls. Strawberry Girls is an instrumental punk rock band that have been around for about eight years now. While they do have some vocals on all three studio albums the band has released, the band chooses to play purely as the three-piece with no tracks of vocals. Because the band produces everything live, tracks are off the table which made the show quite magical. It was clear a large part of the crowd was there for the band despite them being the first band on the bill. There was some serious finger picking work and they set up a good foundation for the night ahead that featured Skyharbor, Silent Planet and The Contortionist on a sold-out show.
My next stop for the night was a bit different with Dreamers at Paradise. Dreamers is a band that New England Sounds has steadily covered for the length of their career pretty much. The first time we caught the band was when they were touring their first EP and over time have seen them naturally progress. That first tour was an ambitious headliner and since then we’ve seen them open for The Griswolds, The Mowgli’s, The Maine but their performance Friday night was easily the best yet. The time this band has spent as road dogs has clearly paid off. Their chemistry is on a different level and they flow naturally from song to song. With rabid love from the crowd for almost every track, it is clear their next attempt at headlining when they decide to make it is sure to be a smash success. Opening the set with one of the first tracks they released, “Wolves”, to huge applause to trying out new material from their second record which they just finished, with “This is Our Last Love Song”, the crowd was wild throughout. The latter track was easily one of the standouts in the set in for me and is a great indication of what is to come with their sophomore release. The band played several tracks off the yet to be released album as well as first record favorites. An easy highlight of the set was when they played their quickly favorited cover of “Zombie” which they introduced simply by Nick saying, ‘This one’s for Dolores’. The band finished out their set with a powerful three-song punch with “Drugs”, “Painkiller”, which had the biggest reaction of the three, to end it on “Sweet Disaster”. With the sweet dedication of the song, ‘We’d like to dedicate this to everyone who dreams’, the set came to an end and the crowd wanting more.