Rock n Roll and Live Music alive and well!

I had a great night out on Wednesday for a show at Pearl Street in Northampton. Even though it was a late work night evening, the final band didn’t end til 12:30, putting my bedtime at 1 am, it was well worth it. The headliner was Okkervil River, a band I have been into maybe a year or so but my first time seeing them.  I had close to a month long gap between shows and was very excited to see them and they delivered!

It was a three band lineup, which clued me in it would be late with a 8:30 start time. After the usual preshow burrito at Bueno Y Sano, I headed over to see the show. I walked into the opening band, What Cheer? Brigade. They were amazing! Very original, which I always like and over the top energy. They were playing on the dancefloor not the stage. They are a wacked brass band. Lots of horns and marching band style drums and cymbals.  Its dance music and funky, but not like Dirty Dozen or Rebirth Brass Band. It has a world music and almost a punk energy to it. It has to been to be believed. Some of the members wear masks and costumes. They also dive right into the audience and get people dancing and moving. After the 2nd song I saw, one of the guys yelled (they weren’t using mikes) “this is not a bright eyes show! You cannot stand still and act like you don’t like us. You must move if you do not, we will move you!” The Bright Eyes comment amused me but they already had the early arriving audience moving. Two huge thumbs up for What Cheer? Brigade.

The second band, Crooked Fingers did not do it for me. They were alright but a bit on the pretentious side for me. Kind of a mix of Americana and indie music. It was a trio with a violin thrown into the mix. The violinist and bass player were cute though, thumbs up there.

At 11:00 pm, it was time for the main act Okkervil River. They tore it up from the second they hit the stage. A ton of energy and musicianship. I would label them as an indie band, they write fantastic songs. They played for an hour and half and just ripped thru songs with a ton of energy. I would go see them again in a second. The band drew kind of the hipster/indie crowd, those kids amuse me they stand around and don’t really get into the show. The band plays very danceable/boppable music. You paid $15 on a Wednesday night to come see them, I know you like them. I highly recommend their last album, The Stage Names, they are supposed to have new one about to come out.


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