Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Live Shows: Hallelujah the Hills, Colleen Green, and Mallcops, Deep Cuts, Medford, MA 5/11/24

Sometimes things just work out. When the dream double bill of Hallelujah the Hills and Colleen Green was announced for Deep Cuts, I already had plans to go to another show that evening. I was disappointed, but having to shows I want to go to in one night is nothing new. However, when I got to the venue for my original show, I realized that it had been cancelled last minute. I took that as a sign, and headed north to Deep Cuts!

Leading up to Saturday night's show, Hallelujah the Hills has been boasting that it was going to be the best setlist they had ever put together. Not exactly humble, but after seeing the show, they might just have been right. It was a perfect mixture of songs off their upcoming fifty-two song DECK project and old favorites, strung together in a way to just build and build off each other. If there was a lull at any points during the set, they were planned to give everyone just a tiny break in between highlights. At one point they played "Superglued to You" followed by "People Keep Dying (And No One Can Stop It)," which I thought might have been the best sequence I had ever seen. That is, until that was followed by "Alone in Love" to make it the best song trifecta I've ever seen live.

Another highlight was bringing out Mariam Saleh from Bongwish for a cover of Swamp Dogg's "Synthetic World." As with all great covers, I've been diving into a Swamp Dogg rabbit hole lately, so thanks for that! On a side note, David Michael Curry continues to use his viola as a noise rock instrument in a way that would make Sonic Youth proud, and trumpet/keyboard player Brian Rutledge has some dance moves that rival Ben Carr.

Colleen Green performed second on the bill, playing the same setlist that she played at The Town and the City Festival. That could have been a bit of a disappointment with any other artist, but Green made it work. She had a little more life to her performance, and seemed to have more die hard fans already in attendance, or at least much more open minded fans for this one. She seemed to especially have more fun with "Escape (The Pina Colada Song" this time around and leaned into the karaoke aspect more. Seriously, get out and see her ASAP.

Mallcops opened the show. They're a band I knew of by name but had never heard them before Saturday night. I had assumed they were a pop punk/emo band, but I wasn't quite sure why. Turns out they play an absolutely lovely version of indie rock goes power pop. They had a ton of their fans in the crowd, and it was easy to see why. The songs were endlessly engaging. And then the singer announced that they were going to play a song from when the band first started and referred to it as emo, so my original thoughts about them were at one time correct. Seeing a band that started out that way (the emo songs were great, by the way) and evolve their sound to where it currently is was pretty rad.

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