by Jack Lowder
Thursday, April 21 was a nice night in Boston, accompanied by a slight breeze. Thinking it was to be a cooler night, I wore a sweatshirt to the Porches show and solidified my status as one of those chumps who holds their sweatshirt the whole time. I ran the whole gauntlet throughout the show: around the waist, over the shoulder, holding it by my side… I could not make it look cool. In attempting to figure out my sweatshirt problem, I conceded to the move of just wearing it in the hot crowd. With my decision made, I knew I needed to stay hydrated or I may overheat and sustain serious medical complications. Throughout the night, I made a new friend in the bartender with my continuous water orders.
The crowd is waiting patiently for any semblance of live music. While the upstairs area was closed for this concert, the downstairs steadily filled up. As the always consciously-well-hydrated person I am, I got through my first water quite quickly. While my girlfriend held my spot, I returned to the bar to acquire some more fluids before any acts hit the stage.
A surprise band enters the stage without introducing themselves, but instead lets us know that they are playing primarily unreleased music. The crowd rears up in anticipation for some interesting noise, and is given such. All of us within the venue were transported back into the 90’s, as flanged guitar hooks and heavy rhythms penetrated our ears, accompanied by fittingly emo lyrics. The performance as a whole was janky and off key, which had its own charm, but most importantly reminded me that I needed more water.
I wait for the first set to finish up and then it’s off to the races. I grab some more water for me and my girlfriend as the scheduled opener, Lowertown, hailing from Atlanta, GA, sets up on stage. Their set begins, playing songs from their new album, The Gaping Mouth, which received solid reviews across the board. Their music amped up the crowd after the previous performance, and got the blood flowing just a hair. The band included an interesting costumed aspect to their performance, having the guitarist on the left dressed in childlike clothing (overalls and such), and their bassist in a button-up shirt and tie. This was a great addition to their music, which dealt with adolescence and their increasing departure from it.
Four waters in and now I’m left wondering, where the hell is Aaron Maine? At this point, the venue is completely packed and ready to see the show, so naturally I’m burning up in this sweatshirt. This water is finished as if it’s a necessity to my well being, cause quite frankly it is.
With the aid of my previous waters, I’ve got a newfound energy and excitement for the set that is about to happen. Porches takes the stage and starts out with some tracks from All Day Gentle Hold !, their new album.Maine brought better stage presence than anyone could ask for that night, keeping up with the fast paced and loud character that his new album embodies.
“Swarovski” was a highlight, as Maine flashed some ice on his wrist as the chorus came along. It was little details like this that allowed Maine to create a memorable performance. While engaging with the crowd by getting up close to the barrier, he would add tidbits like this into his performance. Before performing the opener to the album, “Lately,” which is a clear fan favorite, he told the crowd, “Feel free to freak the fuck out for this one,” which is exactly what everyone did. The bombastic, cymbal-heavy intro had the crowd close to moshing. The high energy of this song subsequently propelled me back to the bar to pick up my last waters of the night.
Waters #6 + 7:
Upon returning to my spot by the barrier, my girlfriend told me that she was adequately hydrated, leaving me double fisting water cups. Time to put in some real work. The second half of Maine’s set revolved mainly around his hits, such as “Mood,” “Underwater,” and “I Wanna Dance,” all from separate parts of his career. Each of these songs brought about a strong reaction from the crowd, especially the well-hydrated individuals like myself.
Maine kept it light in-between songs as he talked to the crowd, even reminiscing on his show at AfterHours, calling it a “cursed ass show.” Quite understandable, but ouch. The set ended without a single complaint from the crowd, as all the essentials were played. Maine and gang left an imprint on Paradise, hopefully indicating a return to Boston in the future.
For me, I ended the night well alive and avoided any signs of heat exhaustion. Let this serve as a reminder to all concert goers to remain safe at shows and keep an eye on your own well being; you’ll be sure to have more memorable and amazing experiences!