featuring Vundabar and Hockey Dad
November 20, 2017 @ The Sinclair
By: Maya Dengel
When I first saw the line-up for this tour, I was beyond ecstatic to make my way down to the Sinclair in Cambridge. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a show where I’ve known both openers and headlining band. The Frights have always reminded me of the punk music I listened to in my emo stage of middle school, as their songs are full of anthems dealing with the struggles of growing up. Combined with the grittiness of Vundabar and the beach-esque sound of Hockey Dad, the concert was set to be the perfect showcase of variety within the punk genre.
The night began with the Australian duo comprised of Billy Fleming and Zach Stephenson, better known as Hockey Dad. The group introduced themselves with ‘Can’t Have Them,’ the first track on their most recent album, Boronia. For two guys, Hockey Dad carried a full sound and had no trouble filling up the room with their surf–pop tunes. The Aussie boys were beyond excited to be in Boston, disclosing that the Bostonian accent was their favorite American accent. I’ve been listening to this group for a few years, patiently waiting for them to return to the United States for a show, and I can happily say they lived up to my expectations.
Following Hockey Dad was Vundabar, a Massachusetts based group. This was the perfect follow up to Hockey Dad, as the band carried a heavy punk side to them. The set was full of the band’s own bits, including a spunky red cowboy hat worn by the lead singer, Brandon Hagen, mid-way through the set. Hagen explained his vocal chords were not up to par at the moment, comparing them to clam chowder, in which a fellow concertgoer screamed “I’LL EAT YOUR CLAM CHOWDER!” The room was quite uncomfortable with this response, as was the rest of the band. Vundabar ended their set with their song, ‘Voodoo,’ which featured a country infused twang that matched perfectly with Hagen’s cowboy hat.
On that note, it was time for the headliners to take the stage. I first saw The Frights back in 2015, when they opened for SWMRS on their first tour, and again last fall when they opened with SWMRS for FIDLAR’s North American Tour. The group began their set with the ultimate teenage rebellion anthem, ‘Kids,’ and the crowd erupted in an uncontrollable mosh fueled by pure teenage angst. The Frights have certainly grown over the last few years, extending their fan base and selling out a few shows on their current headlining tour. The band has also become much more comfortable on stage, incorporating their own “bits,” into their set, such as taking the classic ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb,’ and turning it into a punk ode to Boston. The group excitedly proclaimed they were playing their 300th show, saying this event marked the 300th time they had fooled everyone into thinking they were a real band. The Frights ended the night with the iconic ‘Fight for Your Right (To Party),’ cover by The Beastie Boys, pleasing the young and old fans at the venue.