By now you all know that two of my favorite local bands are Sapling and Tysk Tysk Task, although at this point I should just say that they are two of my favorite bands. The members are friends, and I've been hoping they'd play a show together for a while now. Finally, Friday night one of my dreams came true so I had to head out to The Worthen in Lowell for one of my most wished for double bills!
When I first saw this bill, I checked out Red Ledger, the opening band. I really enjoyed their blend of mainstream alt-rock meets melodic hardcore. Friday night's set was a solo acoustic show by frontman James Dee. Dee went between acoustic guitar and ukulele for his set, mostly playing songs that he can't really play with a full, loud band. He also played at least one song off Red Ledger's upcoming album. It was hard to judge the new song based on a solo acoustic performance. This just gives me even more reason to get out to check out Red Ledger down the road!
I didn't want to like Burp. First of all, their name is Burp, which is the kind of band name I would never tell someone I was going to see. Second, they opened their set by announcing the first song was about their balls. I got fully ready to feel every bit of the old man I am for their entire set, and I did. But... turns out Burp is really good. They're a college aged band that imagines a world where bands like Blink 182 and Sum 41 make noisy art rock. Yeah, that is an insanely weird combination, but it somehow worked. Sure, I felt old during their set, but I should since I'm old enough to be their dad. It is refreshing to see noisy art punk being done in a fun way and not just in a very serious and important way.
Considering I just saw Tysk Tysk Task less than two months ago in the very saw room, it's going to sound strange to say that this show was considerably better than the last time... but it was. As good as their show back in April was, Friday night's was much, much better. Samantha Hartsel and Danni Gannon took a break from recording their upcoming album to play this show, and all that playing has made them that perfect combination of playing loose and free but locking in together more tightly. Their newer sound of "nature-meets-grunge-meets-jazz-meets-shoegaze-meets-rock" is becoming epic. Two new songs were played Friday night ("Working On It - Working It Out" and "On My Own") that have me wanting to skip the entire summer to get to September when the album is released. Both start off relatively quiet and just build to these epic and intense conclusions. Tysk Tysk Task have a ton of shows scheduled for this summer. Make sure you go out of your way to make at least one of these.
Sapling closed the night out. The Worcester/Providence trio opened their set with "Everything Was Better," which might have been the perfect introduction to the Lowell crowd. Their sense of humor mixing with anger has always been what draws me to their music, and the line "Don't leave that shit to Beaver" will always make me chuckle. For "Bitchshifter," guitarist/thereminist/singer Amber Tortorelli donned her Elon Musk mask from the video, wearing it while removing her clown outfit. I swear Musk's eyes were following me, and if you've never made eye contact with Elon Musk while he's performing a burlesque routine, I'd advise against it. Aside from a few minutes of intense discomfort, Sapling put on a fun, impossible to miss show.