Saturday night at Great Scott was weird. Fun, but weird.
This sold-out all-acoustic endeavor drew people with scally caps and neck tattoos, people presumably there for the first almost-DUCKY BOYS show in a few years, "normal" looking people who I assume came to see LAURA STEVENSON, and nobody dressed like a classy hillbilly except for WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE. Oddly, headliner Whitmore was the one performer who demanded total attention from everybody. That guy was fucking incredible. In fact, some people got so caught up in the excitement, they turned into assholes.
One of them I shall call “C.C.,” because he was wearing a Coheed & Cambria t-shirt and publishing his actual name would cause ethical concerns... also, I don’t remember his actual name. Before Whitmore’s set, C.C. told me he was a huge Journey fan, and once performed onstage with Hatebreed. Also, one time he thought had mono, but later found out he was just really bored.
He seemed charming enough until he decided Whitmore’s wistful Americana made appropriate circle pit music, and began nosily having random mood swings and/or arguments. He wasn’t even the only one to flip out. Some dude in a wife beater waved his fist around while aimlessly slamming into people. All this prompted one woman to shout, "Gentlemen on the other side of the room, shut the FUCK UP!!! You’re ruining everyone’s good time!!!"
Indeed. Who tries to mosh at an unplugged show?
A pit might’ve been acceptable earlier for MARK LIND and DOUG SULLIVAN, 2/3ers of the reinstituted Ducky Boys. The legendary Boston punks ran through a wisely chosen selection from their back catalogue -- they didn’t do “Boston, USA,” but they did do “Alone Tonight” -- and some new bits from a new record they’re apparently putting the finishing touches on. The Duckys fucked up quite a bit, but I only know this because Lind announced every mistake he made, 90 percent of which no one would’ve picked up on otherwise.
Coming from Lind, self deprecation is not only expected, but delivered with enough smirking good humor for me to wonder whether he genuinely believes he sucks, or if he just wants to avoid sounding like a self-congratulatory dick by talking about awesome he is.
Laura Stevenson’s between-song angst came across way less tongue-in-cheek. She went on second, and it was hard to tell if she was unused to playing without a band behind her, if the heat from the spotlights was messing with her brain (Whitmore requested to play most of his set in the dark, in the interest of his personal comfort) or if she had had a shitty day. But especially for someone’s whose band just released a fantastic folk/alt-pop record, Sit Resist, on one the more recognizable indie labels (Don Giovanni Records) she was noticeably, and vocally, pretty uncomfortable up there.
At least she played all her songs really well. My only directly music-related complaint is she didn’t do "Halloween Pts. 1 and 2" or "The Wait" ...also, she tried to sing the xylophone/accordion intro part to “The Healthy One,” which was awkward to watch and hear.