Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Live Shows: The Sheila Divine, The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA 9/6/19

I've been going to see The Sheila Divine for twenty years now. Back when they were signed to Roadrunner Records, it seemed like they were always playing somewhere in Boston. Between the night they won the WBCN Rock n Roll Rumble until the end of the year when my time in college radio was over, I think I saw them monthly. In the past few years they've played a few local shows per year, and it seemed like I'd be able to check out one of my favorite Boston bands live twice a year or so. However, with Jim Gilbert deciding to leave the band, it appears that The Sheila Divine might be calling it a career. Obviously I had to head out to see them one last time.

Friday night it seemed that The Sheila Divine "possibly" breaking up has been elevated to The Sheila Divine "is" breaking up. The band had a sense of finality in their performance, and as melancholy as a Sheila Divine show can be, what is most likely going to be their final Boston show was truly a melancholy night. The band started off their set with some of their more newly released material, like "Melancholy, MA." It was almost as if they were going back in time and had some of their more well known songs saved for the end. There were a lot of jokes about the band ending, and as the night progressed it became more apparent that they were serious. When the band played "Hum" as a set closer, instead of just inserting a piece of another song in the middle, Aaron Perrino stuck in a medley of songs including Craytown's "Butterfly," Lil Nas X's "Old Town Toad," and Nine Inch Nails's "Head Like a Hole." 

For an encore, Perrino came out and did a song solo, something he hasn't done before in the well over a dozen times I've seen them. It seemed like a possible sign of things to come, especially as he told the crowd to come see whatever he does next at much smaller venues than The Sinclair. The band even played a song about the band ending, which included a line about posting music on Soundcloud and getting face tattoos. The Sheila Divine still have an unreleased album coming out soon, and it's crazy to think that there won't be an album release show for this one.

There are still a handful of The Sheila Divine shows left. If you happen to be in Buffalo, NY, you are in luck! They're playing a pair of shows there with Tugboat Annie. They're also playing three shows in November in Belgium, a country they seem to randomly play every year. After that? Most likely solo shows and new bands.

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