by Bela Omoeva
In the back room of a restaurant between TD Garden and South Station, Noise Complaint Productions held its third show on March 31st. A student-led, D.I.Y. enterprise, Noise Complaint organizes monthly shows for local student musicians, usually held at the upscale eatery City Winery. As young people milled about, networked, and drank ice water, the three artists booked for the night prepared their sets, and the show began around 8:15 p.m. The ones set to perform that night were Kid Renaissance, playing mostly R&B, $cary Jerry, a rapper with nigh-epileptic energy, and Aristotle Jones & The 805, performing rap with a serving of heavy guitar and ‘70s influence. The artists performed with their bands in tow — or, in the case of $cary Jerry, with hypemen. Kid Renaissance did eight songs, $cary Jerry did five, and Aristotle Jones did seven.
City Winery’s equipment left something to be desired. This isn’t out of the ordinary for small-scale music shows — Northeastern’s own AfterHours venue is known to have sound quality issues. While Kid Renaissance’s singing was largely unobstructed, $cary Jerry’s and Aristotle Jones’ rapping was often near-inaudible. Despite the mic issues, the backing bands could generally be heard fine.
The Noise Complaint show was the kind of show you’d find yourself at through a friend of a friend. It’s not quite the kind of the thing one would want to go to alone or as a total stranger to the scene, but that also lent it an intimate, house-party-ish quality, and despite the technical hiccups onstage, the performers had some charm and evident passion. During the second half of Aristotle Jones’ “Wasted,” the song slowed down and warped as Jones mock-drunkenly stumbled around the stage. The guitarists of the night, for Kid Renaissance and Aristotle Jones, were something like virtuosos, or, as my roommate put it, they “made love” to their instruments. One moment from the production was particularly memorable. During Kid Renaissance’s light and energetic last song, the band engaged in a brief jam session — a cute, jazz-like moment of synergy. Covers were performed, too, including a few of artist Karson’s songs and one of Mac Miller’s. The night ended with more people in the room than when the show started.