by Juliette Paige
As the temperature drops in Boston, I find myself seeking out sunnier tracks to remind myself that there is light at the end of the seasonal depression tunnel. As I entered the dimly lit Brighton Music Hall, I felt like I was welcomed into someone’s house. There was casual chatting and mingling as fans convened near the stage, and there was a feeling of happiness in the air.
Photo by Juliette Paige for WRBB.
First to the stage was Tipling Rock, a beach pop/indie rock band that started off in the dorms of Northeastern University (go Huskies!). Their set showcased their talents and different sounds with bouncy tracks like ‘Low Tide Love’ and ‘Staring’ that had everyone on their feet as well as slower tracks like ‘Love Without a Reason’ that had everyone’s heart melting. They threw in an incredible rock-heavy instrumental cover of The Black Eyed Peas’ ‘Pump It’ that got the crowd’s blood pumping and warmed up for the rest of the night.
Next on the list was Wilderado, a band that now holds a very special piece of my heart. Hailing from Tulsa, OK, Wilderado sounds as if The Lumineers and Pearl Jam had a baby – take beautiful and evocative harmonies and mix it with powerful rock melodies and riffs. Frontman Maxim Rainer blew me away with his emotionally-rich voice, and the band filled the venue with huge guitars, drums, and vocals while still sounding pretty. Their set covered tracks from their three released EP’s, including ‘You Don’t Love Me,’ a slow-building, climatic rock track and ‘Sorrow,’ a powerful and full-bodied track about being flawed and imperfect humans. The set ended with my favorite track of the night, ‘Siren,’ and Rainer thanked the audience and mentioned how blessed he felt to have people listen to their music.
As the set changed for the much-anticipated Sure Sure set, I noticed the stage was filled with the most unconventional items: flowers around the stage, a plastic pig toy on the drums, a hammer carefully placed on the floor by the keyboard, etc. After interviewing the band, it made sense that the four members (who all live together in LA) would wholesomely make the stage feel like their own home by decorating it with trinkets and objects that probably have some backstory or inside joke. Instead of a little music hall in rainy Boston, it was like we were at an intimate house show in sunny LA.
Photo by Juliette Paige for WRBB.
The band entered with the biggest smiles on each of their faces – it was contagious. They jumped right into the first track of their self-titled LP, ‘Giants,’ and everyone was on their feet dancing along with the band as they got lost in their own music. The energy the band had as they jammed and joked with each other made it evident that they were more than just a band, but best friends too.
The set continued with tracks off their LP like ‘Friends,’ which is about one of the guys getting dumped at a Baja Fresh, as well as their Talking Heads cover of ‘This Must Be The Place,’ which was one of the tracks that put Sure Sure on the map. The highlight of the show was their last song of the set, ‘Hands Up Heads Down,’ when Charlie explained step-by-step how to do the accompanying dance: “Put your hands up in the air. Then drop your head. Then do a bouncing move… kind of like a zombie.” As silly as it sounds, the band poured their heart into this bass-heavy track and the venue was immediately filled with zombie fans.
The entire night was filled with such talented and humble musicians; I was smiling the entire night (and I’ve had all three bands on repeat all week). While discussing the show, it was funny that my two friends and I all had different favorite acts of the night, and I think that’s a sure sign of a solid concert. And after a night of beach and sunny jams, I braved the cold weather just a little easier.