Monday, March 11, 2024

Live Shows: Mclusky, Martha's Vineyard Ferries, and Minibeast, The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA 3/8/24

I somehow missed Mclusky the first time around, which doesn't make any sense to me since I was very active in finding new music in the early 2000's. I only recently discovered them thanks to Jeff, and they were always one of those bands that I just had to accept the fact that I missed out on. But, somehow the band reunited in 2014. So when a show at The Sinclair in Cambridge was announced for last Friday, I jumped at the chance to go despite feeling like an imposter fan.

And what a show it was. I doubt there were any casual Mclusky fans at the show on Friday night, but if there were they are now diehards. Opening with "Fuck this Band" (which is literally the perfect choice, both because it's hilarious and helped ease the crowd into the show before the explosion of "Dethink to Survive"), Mclusky instantly had the crowd enraptured by their show. Quite often reunion shows can be very obvious cash grabs, with the band having no real interest in playing the material. That's not the case with Mclusky, who just attacked these old songs with an energy that defied their middle-age. It was also the rowdiest show I've seen in years. There wasn't any hardcore 90's style moshing, but there was pushing and jumping around for the entire hour plus set. 

Plus, Andrew Falcous has legitimately great stage banter. From encouraging the crowd to start texting their friends during a new song to some bizarre exchange with an audience member who needed to discuss the penis size of inhabitants of a certain Irish town, each music break was entertaining. 

Mclusky also have such a great catalog of songs for a band that wasn't around for a huge amount of time. There's the obvious "Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues," but each song just obliterated the crowd. "Without MSG I Am Nothing?" "Collagen Rock?" "Day of the Deadringers?" All amazing. When they announced they only had two songs left, the audience asked for a third. They obliged, but had to abort the audience's pick of "No Covers" in favor of "That Man Will Not Hang" after they messed up. Even that made the night even more spectacular. 

Minibeast opened up. They're the new band of Peter Prescott, formerly of Mission of Burma. They rely heavily on the use of loops to craft these mind-blowing and heavy indie rock songs. I'm going to assume most of the crowd was unfamiliar with Minibeast before Friday night, but they won over plenty of fans with a high energy and impossible to ignore set. Plus, Keith Seidel is by far one of the best drummers I have ever seen live. This is the third time I've seen Minibeast live, and each show is both similar and wildly different from others due to improvisation. And each show has been better than the previous one.

Martha's Vineyard Ferries played second, and had the unenviable job of playing after the bonkers energy of Minibeast and before the beloved Mclusky. Featuring Boston rock legend Chris Brokaw on drums and vocals, the band played a more laid back set of indie rock songs. They may have been punk rock laced indie rock songs, but still more chill than the other bands. Luckily for the Ferries, they play amazing songs that kept the crowd entertained and didn't burn anyone out before Mclusky started. 

Friday night was a night of legends, and all three delivered.

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