Words & Photos by Scott Murry
Queen echoed through the sold out upstairs space of the Middle East Club in Boston, MA Thursday night, keeping the coup warm for The Falcon. On the first night of the first tour in ten years, the punk rock super group landed with first-time Falcon-er Dave Hause on guitar. They’ve been dormant for a decade, but returned like a triumphant roundhouse kick to the face of everyone in the venue with treats from their new album Gather Up The Chaps. Brendan Kelly of the Lawrence Arms led the way with longtime cohort Neil Hennessy behind the kit and Alkaline Trio’s Dan Andriano on bass. They’re a bonafide super group.
Kelly was quick to point out, “There are four great musicians on stage tonight … I’m also not good at math.” With great punk rock pedigree does not come great ego respite. Being the “new guy,” Hause bared on-stage hazing with Adriano making him the butt of many jokes—mocking his custom Iron Maiden jean jacket for instance. Hause remained calm offering nothing but “peace and love” in return. As the straw of patience broke eventually, he struck back with a jab, “This guy has so many punk rules: No jackets, no water, no lyrics, but he can dress as a bat for 15 years.” Referencing the gothy aesthetics of Alkaline, this received the biggest laughs of all. Andriano quipped back a bit, and with a smile urged Hennessy to start the next song before things escalated.
Kelly frequently joked that they hadn’t practiced much or even played some of the songs together. It could be a lie, or it could be true. During interviews, he has said that they aren’t a polished band, but they’ve collectively played for so long that they could be winging it and sound cohesive. That’s not to say they’re too tight and over-produced, quite the opposite—Falcon play with the immediacy and ridiculousness of friends getting together for a weekend bash—they just happen to know what they’re doing.
The Scandals hit the stage hard with their street punk vigor. With tall speakers moved up on the stage, their space was tight enough that the front row nearly had to dodge their swinging guitar necks. The proximity added to the energy, and bust out in their final song as lead singer Jared Hart took his mic into the audience for some pit sing-alongs.
The Lippies are new to the Red Scare Industries lineup, having just released a self-titled full length. I always appreciate how lead singer Tonia Broucek brings honey to the stage to keep her voice on pitch. She takes a chug of it and belts right into each show with her ukulele. It’s a literal spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down as their lyrics remind you not to be a jerk.
Migrating in for the party, the stacked list of openers held their own. The Middle East Club already begun to fill in at 8:30pm for Trophy Lungs, who’s snotty brand of Boston pop punk moved so fast that drummer Bren Guerin battled to keep the kick drum in place. They kept it together, powering through triumphantly to close with their ode to lost friends, “Bathroom Graffiti.”
Grab The Falcon cover issue w/ exclusive flexi by clicking the image below.