LIVE REVIEW: Tancred bring grunge and heartbreak to Cambridge

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“We were in Seattle the night of the championship and when it became clear that we were going to win, during the set I pulled my laptop on stage to illegally stream it because I’m not going to miss the fucking sox!” said Jess Abbott, lead vocalist of Tancred, to a round of cheering from the audience. New England raised, Abbott and her band had fans in the audience for sure, but that was the icing on the cake. As the opener for a night headlined by much loved (and female fronted as well) The Joy Formidable, the band sure set the bar for a great night of music.

Abbott and her band have been around for a hot minute. Really constant road dogs since the band debuted, even announcing a new run of dates just the other day which brings the band back to Boston only two short months from now opening for Mineral. And while fans were clearly there for The Joy Formidable, there were definitely Tancred followers in the audience. Proven by constant head bobbing and yells of ‘Yah Jess!’, the band rocked the room.

With a pretty large TJF live set up (mostly a very elaborate set up for drums including a gong), the four-piece was limited to about a third of what is normally available stage wise for The Sinclair. Despite, they completely dominated the space. Playing approximately a forty-five-minute set, the band made it seem effortless even though they were producing an incredibly expressive sound and threw me absolutely for a loop. If you judge books by covers, you will be completely surprised by Tancred. From memory, performances were also a little more low octane and last night was definitely not that.

From the first track, “Bed Case”, the crowd was instantly hooked and so was I. It instantly brought fellow New England rockers Weakened Friends to mind and got the set off to a great foot. Everyone was completely feeling it. And that energy didn’t falter throughout the length of the set. Big highlights for me came from the recently released record, “Nightstand”, including a big one with ‘Queen of New York’ and ‘Hot Star’. The new tracks scream a different tune for sure from the record prior, “Out Of the Garden” and I’m here for it.

The set still contained the gorgeous lyrics but gave a much grungier vibe to the band. The grittiness was there, the realness, the apparent heartbreak. Be it the back to back tracks of ‘Not Likely’ to ‘Something Else’, the set screamed very genuine lyrics kept close to the heart.

Closing the set to huge cheers for “Pretty Girls” of Out Of the Garden, the four-piece walked off stage to huge roars from the crowd and set the tone for the evening.

Tancred return to the area on January 20th when they play Brighton Music Hall, opening for emo pioneers Mineral. Tickets are available HERE.

About Author


Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.