Words and photos by Scott Murry
First things first, I apologize to Rebuilder, In The Meantime, and Tied To A Bear! You’re all lovely, and I missed your sets. Things went earlier than I expected, but you’re gold. Arriving at the Hardcore Stadium, in the basement of the Cambridge Elks Lodge, I could already hear Get Dead‘s catchy blend of punk, hardcore, and folk bursting out of the windows. Running down the steps like an anxious teenager to a peep show, thankfully they had just kicked off.
Sam King was already ripping out the back of his throat to produce his rasp-rich lyrics to punch through the microphone. The crowd sweated it out with tallboys chilling their hands as they sang along. Against the wood-paneled walls, every lyric generated from band to fan and back again. This is why basement style shows are so good. You can destroy at a large venue with top notch sound and lighting (and I’m sure many bands want this level of equipment), but with a band on the crowd’s level lit by nothing more than clear Christmas lights, it’s a show of memorable impact.
There’s no way people went home with Get Dead in their faces thinking, “That was alright, can we go get pizza now?” The drums were rapid and tight, spearing each track along and keeping everyone’s feet tapping … so long as they could keep up. The band stood close in the confined space, nearly shoulder to shoulder. This scenario might not work for the likes of the Misfits (who might still technically loathe one another), but these guys looked like a tight-knit family stoked to make music for the loud, cozy space they were calling home for the night. Adding to the intimacy of the space, King debuted songs with references to previous relationships lost to drug-abuse. Their music covers heavy topics and hard times frequently without batting an eye. If it worked for Shakespeare, it’ll work for King. The purist approach of sharing life’s tragedies is part of what makes the band so good. It’s not all pretty, but there’s no need to cover it up … unless you’re in politics, of course. This was their first show back in Boston since the Fat tour of 2013, and was an excellent (if not overdue) return.