Concert Review: The Sea and Cake at Brighton Music Hall in Allston, MA
The Sea and Cake Rating:
Brighton Music Hall
November 7, 2011
Reviewed by: Holly Kalinski
The Brighton Music Hall on Monday night in Allston was the perfect venue for The Sea and Cake fans to see these music veterans in an intimate setting. Concertgoers may stand inches from the floor stage, and limited lighting and “fluff” provide an intimate stripped-down experience. The crowd filled up about half the venue, and was a mix of twenty-somethings and older clutching tall cans of PBR.
As soon as the show began, it was clear that The Sea and Cake have been together awhile. Singer and guitarist Sam Prekop and guitarist Archer Prewitt played completely in sync as John McEntire unrelenting driving drum beats were a force pushing the music forward. Talented bassist Eric Claridge played with his eyes closed at times, aware of what was coming next.
The intricate guitar parts and driving rhythms are reminiscent of the later-formed band, Brown Social Scene, who The Sea and Cake toured with late last year after the release of their joint 2 song project “split 7.”
The Sea and Cake have been touring for over twenty years. Originally from Chicago, the band has released 9 albums since 1994. On their website, the group describes their sound as bold music “delivered in layers of delicate tones and melodies.”
While early on the band played effortlessly, it lacked energy. That intensity was missing that gets a crowd exciting about the music you’re playing. About halfway through their set, Prekop announced that they were going to play a song from their new CD, The Moonlight Butterfly. As the band began to play “Inn Keeping” the mood changed. The men came to life, moving around and jamming out to the synthesized beats that were now added to the 4 – person ensemble.
As the band’s energy made its way into the close-standing crowd, cheers began to erupt. Apparently this was the material the crowd had been waiting to hear. Attentively listening happy fans at once became excited fans, and the real show began.
The band closed with a 3-song encore including “Parasol” from their 1995 album “Nassau.” The song was featured on the soundtrack of “Remember Me,” one of Robert Pattinson’s non-vampire movies. The song showcased catchy chord progressions from Prewitt and was a great way to end the night.
The Sea and Cake were more excited about playing their latest material. Can you blame them? Twenty years is a long time to be playing the same songs. The Sea and Cake continue to put out new fresh-sounding music and are able to re-invent themselves to remain vital in an ever-changing music world with its new, younger bands in slightly tighter pants.