Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Live Shows: Tysk Tysk Task, Circus Trees, and Subpunch, The Overlook at Mill No. 5, Lowell, MA 2/18/23

Lately more and more clubs seem to be opening in the distant suburbs of Boston. The latest is The Overlook at Mill No. 5 in Lowell. Mill No. 5 is a refurbished mill building with condos, an arthouse theater, restaurants, shops, and now a brand new music venue. I always want to check out new venues as soon as possible, so luckily for me they brought in Tysk Tysk Task for a show right away.

Subpunch opened the show, and this was my first experience with the Lowell band. The trio play a version of punk/emo that is more geared towards early, artier emo. Their music is more 90's alt rock than early 00's emo/pop punk. I got a very distinct Jawbreaker meets Dinosaur Jr with a little The Promise Ring sprinkled in sound from them. There is also a poetic element to their songs than you typically get. Songs like "Mouth Full" and "Witness Tree" are top shelf emo. Subpunch are a band we're going to be keeping an eye on.

I discovered Circus Trees over the summer at Nice, a Fest, and was thrilled to see them again. The MA band made up of three siblings blew me away in The Rockwell with their unbelievably tight version of anthemic indie rock and shoegaze. Saturday night I was even more blown away. Despite not addressing the crowd a lot, this is a band putting on a performance. They came prepared with their own light show and samples to play between songs during tuning, meaning there was always something to hear with no downtime. Circus Trees are playing at a higher level than the small clubs they've been playing, and if this show was any indication, they won't be playing small clubs for much longer. One new song in particular, "Save Yourself," was this thrilling epic that just kept building and building. You know how sometimes you just know you're seeing a song live that is going to be special once it's released? That's how it was with "Save Yourself," and I just wanted to try to soak the moment in the entire time.

Saturday night was my first time seeing the new line up of Tysk Tysk Task, with Amy Gee on bass and Alex Decato on drums joining Samantha Hartsel. For a band that has only been playing together for a month or two, they were an incredibly tight unit at The Overlook. As huge as their sound was in 2022, 2023 shows them getting even heavier. Songs like "Colors" and "Flies" continue to evolve with every performance and are never quite the same night to night. Hartsel has developed one of the best screams in the Boston music scene, and Tysk Tysk Task is developing into the type of band that can play indie rock shows, noise shows, and even metal nights. What's most surprising is how naturally they have evolved ito this sound from their indie folk origins. If you've been reading this blog for the past year or so, you know of my love for Tysk Tysk Task and last year's You're Sorry More, and I don't see that changing in 2023.

One final word about The Overlook at Mill No. 5. This is a gorgeous new venue in an amazing building in a perfect location. It has a great sound and might be the perfect set up for a live show. Definitely keep an eye out on their schedule and go see as many shows there as you possibly can.

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