Night Riots @ Brighton Music Hall

Photo courtesy of Sumerian Records.

Night Riots
featuring Silent Rival and courtship.

June 12, 2018 at Brighton Music Hall


There’s something about California bands. The sound is simply different when you’re surrounded by beaches instead of bracing New England winters. On June 12, three California alt-rock bands blessed Boston with their sunny vibes that make you want to take the next plane to the West Coast, bust out of your dusty sunglasses, and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway blasting their music.

Opening the night was Silent Rival, a Los Angeles rock duo consisting of Sara Coda on vocals and Joz Ramirez on various instruments. Even though Brighton Music Hall was still filling up during their set, Silent Rival put on a show as if the entire venue was full. Their sound is a beautiful concoction of glam-pop and classic alternative rock, and I think I have a major girl crush on Coda, who slayed the stage in a black denim jumpsuit. The duo played most of the tracks on their debut record, The Kindness of Strangers, including the most popular track ‘Die A Little.’ While their recorded music can lean more on the pop side, their live set was much more classic rock sounding, which exceeded my expectations and seemed to please all the Night Riots fans. They ended their set with a newly released single, ‘Just One Voice,’ which had everyone on their feet and singing to the chorus.

Next on the floor was synth pop duo courtship., whose members Eli Hirsch and Micah Gordan, share a bromance that could be sensed from a mile away. Having seen them open for the Wombats in January, I was extremely excited to see them live again after their debut album, Denial in Paradise, was released. It’s safe to say that the band has only found ways to improve. Eli and Micah owned the stage with confidence and high energy, constantly checking in with the audience and making sure they were having the time of their lives. Their Californian vibes were infectious and had everyone dancing to their energetic tracks like ‘Nice Guy,’ ‘Perfect People,’ and ‘Love For Everyone,’ as well as their more mellow beats like ‘Sail Away’ and ‘Tell Me Tell Me.’

After the dynamic performances from Silent Rival and courtship., the greatly anticipated Night Riots stormed the stage, and the crowd (which was primarily filled with high school girls) went insane. The band opened their set with one of their early singles, ‘Nothing Personal,’ in which frontman Travis Hawley had no problem in winning the hearts of the crowd with his charming persona and impressive vocals (seriously, his voice sounds just like if it were a recording).

To say the least, Night Riot’s performance was a beautiful emotional rollercoaster. The entire band has contagious energy (not a pun on their hit song ‘Contagious’), and it’s easy to connect with members from how great their crowd interaction is. Even more impressive, Hawley admitted he took an Alka-Seltzer before the show and realized he accidentally took the night-time medication. Although he was extremely tired, he praised the audience for bringing energy and “bringing him back to life.”

The band played tracks from their 2015 debut album Howl and their 2017 sophomore album Love Gloom, both of which have tracks that kept making me say “I completely forgot that song was by them!” Highlights of the night included their surprisingly clever medley of ‘Fangs,’ which transitioned to Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds,’ and their medley of ‘Breaking Free,’ which progressed into Oasis’s ‘Wonderwall.’ The band continued to impress with an extensive drum solo, where each of the members contributed on Rico Rodriguez’s drum-kit with glow in the dark drumsticks. Extreme fans even came prepared and brought their own glow-in-the-dark accessories. After a high intensity show ended with their breakthrough single ‘Contagious,’ which hit home as a song I listened to on repeat in high school. Night Riot’s set was more than live music – it was a performance. Watching each member pour their heart on stage made it so easy to get lost in the music and forget about all the stresses that I entered the venue with.

If you have a chance to catch Night Riots, courtship., or Silent Rival on tour, I highly recommend you do so. After all, everyone could welcome in some California vibes this summer.

Listen to Night Riots:

About Juliette Paige 31 Articles
Hailing from an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Juliette Paige (a.k.a “DJ RedEye”) is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student at Northeastern University. Being from Hawai‘i, her music taste stems from a diverse range of cultures and largely consists of alternative rock, indie rock, and '60s rock. You can normally find Juliette drowning in engineering work, traveling around the world, or rocking out at a concert. Be sure to catch DJ RedEye’s WRBB radio show, “No Lei Overs,” and keep spreading the Aloha.

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