LIVE REVIEW: White Reaper put on the dream rock and roll show
On a cold Saturday night and after a serious Rocktober, The Sinclair’s vibe for a White Reaper headline show was one that I want for every hardworking band. As I saw the room fill up, everyone was tuned into the openers Wombo, who were providing an ethereal warm-up to what was to come.
The crowd was here for a real rock and roll show. They were super respectful of allowing the band members their space when walking through the lobby, buying drinks at the bar. Something super special too later in the night was seeing several staffers from The Sinclair approaching the merch table pulling out cash to buy bands merch. With the frontman of The Nude Party visibly in awe and delight at it, with huge she’s at his merch girl. As well as the Sinclair team being so great, it’s clear that White Reaper is a “band’s band”. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve seen local band guys; local bookers are paying guests at a show that wasn’t a local show.
The aforementioned Wombo won over the crowd with both an ethereal set, vibes that had me thinking of The Joy Formidable, as well as a beautifully translates cover of Talking Heads’ “Pyscho Killer”.
As Wombo jumped off stage, New York transplants via North Carolina’s The Nude Party had the crowd roaring almost instantly. But it was hard not too. With some serious seventies psych rock, the crowd seemed pleasantly surprised. Opening it up with the banger, “Feels Right”, the crowd started roaring as the band can out kicking. They screamed classic seventies rock.
The momentum really hit full momentum with the third track of the set, “Steve”. Which was super grooves driven, really vibey. As the band dove into, “What’s the Deal”, another big moment for the crowd, vocalist Patton made the crowd go wild simply by saying, “It feels really good to be here right now.” They were the perfect opener to set the stage for what was to come from White Reaper.
It’s crazy how the venue you see a band in can alter your perception of what you a see a band as. Also, you know, time is kind of a thing. The first time I saw White Reaper was when they played as main support to UK’s The Struts on a nuts sold out show about a year ago at Paradise Rock Club. Where the band played an amped up performance similar to the one that opener The Nude Party put on. But the performance I saw at The Sinclair earlier this month gave intimate vibes and a seemingly effortless rock and roll show from the band. The crowd was wrapped around the band’s finger as they rocked their way through pretty much non stop music for a compact 65 minutes including the encore.
And let me tell you, I was living for it. These short power packed headline sets are becoming something much more common these days. And the fans of those bands want that. Interaction with the audience was still there, just in the purest of ways. It included the drummer throwing up two fingers to indicate there were only two more songs left without even saying it. To frontman Tony Esposito dedicating a song to longtime supporter Clyde, “Where’s Clyde? You’re not here. Clyde didn’t make it. This song goes to Clyde”.
Set list wise, the band’s latest album that only dropped October 18th, “You Deserve Love”, was a huge focus of the set for clear reasons and to be perfectly honest, the crowds reactions for those newer songs were some of the biggest ones of the night. Shouting, “Another new one Boston. Can you handle it,” before moving into “Real Long Time”. Another standout track of the night was the title track off the new album which screamed a mental health pep talk in an incredible way. Overall, the set was garage rock perfection. A night of true music fans and bands you seriously shouldn’t sleep on!