by Caitlyn Furler
Juice, a genre-bending septuplet originally formed at Boston College, drew a sold-out crowd to their homecoming show at Brighton Music Hall. Pulling influences from rock, R&B, and hip-hop, the band’s sound is uniquely vibrant through flairs of electric violin and soulful vocals.
The atmosphere in the room was electric, with energy radiating from both the ecstatic crowd and the band. With big smiles and a bold stage presence, it was clear to see that the Boston hometown show was a meaningful one for Juice. The crowd joined in with the chorus refrains, clearly fond of the band’s repertoire. Many of the audience members were wearing Boston College sweaters, t-shirts and hats which led to me think that they had been a part of Juice’s initial entrance into the Boston music scene during their time at BC a few years ago. The familiarity between the band and the crowd created a sweet sense of community throughout their set.
That same bond was immediately recognizable between the band members themselves. They were obviously having the time of their life playing together. Their arrangements included many instrumental interludes featuring violin, electric guitar and bass solos. While the transitions could have been more polished, the flow of the set definitely illustrated the personality of the band and their love for jamming with one another. The solos showcased not only the talent of each player, but also the admiration that members of Juice have for each other. The others would watch in appreciation as the soloists built the tension and excitement in the room through their spirited improvisation.
The impressive instrumental showcases throughout the set were complemented by the gifted lead vocalist. Ben Stevens’ voice has a pitch range to envy, diving into his lower range with precision and a heart-melting honey tone and then easily soaring up into higher range vocal runs that burst with energy and neo soul flair.
The band played some songs from their previous albums as well as two newer crowd favourites, “Dave (Turn the Music Down)” and “Aubrey Tell Me.” They hinted at some new, unreleased songs that were slightly more pop rock, which I found to lack the layered, substantive feel of tracks like “Dave (Turn the Music Down)” however were still musically compelling and sure-fire earworms. The scope of genres in their discography shows the wide breadth of inspirations they draw from… and manage to pull off.
At the end of their set, the crowd didn’t just request one more song. They shouted, “ten more songs!” until the band finally emerged back onto stage and satisfied the crowd with their summer tinted song, “Coconut.” Juice’s show was a hit with the Boston crowd and almost felt like a class reunion. It was definitely a fun one to watch.