Monday, April 9, 2018

Live Shows: Caroline Rose and Henry Jamison, Great Scott, Allston, MA 4/4/18

Photo via Facebook
What a difference six months and a great new record makes. Back in October (six months to the day!), Caroline Rose opened for Banditos in a modestly attended show at Great Scott. Last week, she came back to the same venue and sold the place out, on a Wednesday no less. I only caught a handful of her songs at the October show, but was intrigued by this new sound and knew I wanted to see more.

Most shows I go to tend to be the ultra serious earnest indie rock kind. A Caroline Rose show is definitely not one of those. The stage was decked out in as much red as possible. There were fake red flowers everywhere, red chili peppers decorating her mic stand, a beat up Elmo pinata, etc. While her band dressed in all (or mostly) royal blue, she took the stage wearing all red, including a fuzzy red faux fur coat, and tossing a rose balloon into the crowd. (The coat only lasted two songs.) Unless I missed one, she ignored her previous album, I Will Not Be Afraid, and only played songs off of the very recent LONER. I completely understand why given the sound change, but I would have loved to have heard an amped up synth-heavy version of "Blood On Your Bootheels."

How synth-heavy is Caroline Rose's new sound? Three out of four bandmembers had some form of keyboard in front of them. The crowd loved every minute of the show, and Rose and her band (although she did announce that she was Caroline Rose and they were Caroline Rose, a la Lydia Loveless) had even more fun. She announced three of the songs she played were her favorite song (the final one was her "real" favorite, which was a cover of the Britney Spears now classic "Toxic") and dared to play "Soul No. 5" and "Money" back to back. She played the opening riff of "Money" for a very extended period of time, delighting in the anticipation from the crowd. Towards the end of the same song, the band abruptly stopped. Fully expecting them to pause for a bit of time and then go back, Rose instead put on the bra that an audience member threw on stage (which was the first bra ever thrown at Caroline Rose! (Luckily, it was cranberry, so it kinda fit the color scheme.) She also needed the audience member's help to put it on, proving that bras are hard!), introduced the crowd to the animatronic cat they had on stage, and announced the rest of the set would be an avant garde noise performance and proceeded to play on a recorder. Only after about 5-10 minutes of this did she drop the recorder and blast back into "Money." It was an insane performance, and the most fun I've had at a show in ages.

To keep the tradition going, I missed most of Henry Jamison's performance. He was joined by a backing band called the Babies, and mentioned that it was their second ever live performance together. It showed, but in the best possible way. Back when I saw him play with Lady Lamb in 2017, I mentioned that he shows great promise and would be great in a few years. Make that one year. He seemed much more comfortable and polished than he did last time, and had a command of the stage I didn't expect. Plus, there was a good portion of the crowd that were die hard Henry Jamison fans, singing along with every song. Maybe in six months he'll be selling out Great Scott on his own.

No comments:

Post a Comment