review by Pete Mason and Tabitha Clancy
Yes, THAT Revolution Hall! For one night (and apparently one night only) Brown’s decided to open the doors of the shuttered music venue for Eastbound Jesus’ show where they released their latest album Northern Rock, to a sold out audience, an impressive feat even in Rev Hall’s heydey. With a few tweaks and a bar in the lobby (not a bad idea, it turns out), Revolution Hall was alive and festive with a crowd to complement the music of Eastbound Jesus and opening act, The Mallett Brothers. Rev Hall looked great, but its a damn shame they don’t have shows there on a regular, if not monthly basis.
The Mallett Brothers from Maine took the stage around 9pm, filling the room with a Greensky-esque style of country/bluegrass, speedy and twangy, with great lyrics and engagement with the crowd. “Wrong Kind” was an upbeat number early into the set and lit the dance floor afire, particularly the front row of ladies dancing with great excitement. The slide guitar from Wally Wenzel was a tight and consistent sound throughout the show, as were the namesakes of the band, Luke (guitar) and Will (banjo) Mallett. “Born Cryin” was one of the sicker tunes of the night, with Brian Higgins’ catchy drum jam a highlight. The enthusiastic set was welcomed by the crowd and would definitely be seen again in Upstate New York.
Setlist: Something to Lean on, Wrong Kind, Good with the Better, Farmers Tan, Last Man, Don’t Need You, Born Cryin, Getaway Queen, Muddin, All Kinds of Crazy, Lowdown, Take it Slow, Dynamite Dot
Holy Smokes! may be the title of their last album but it accurately depicts the party Eastbound Jesus threw on April 19th. In a celebration in their latest disc release, Northern Rock, Eastbound Jesus sold out a venue that has been closed for over two years. The bar sold out of Pabst Blue Ribbon before the band even took stage; the staple beverage, as deemed by die-hard fans as a result of a reference in “Doors Open”, played ironically at the end of set two. The crowd was primed. The band had every reason to be over-joyed, full of energy and set to deliver their new material. The first set comprised of shiny brand new songs played in order as they appear on the disc. Set two was a mix of songs from prior discs. The crowd is well versed, and highly intoxicated and, as expected, the second set was a hell of a party. The Mallet Brother’s shared the stage, lady friends would pop on and off the stage, and gents took their shirts off. Eastbound Jesus encouraged the unholy on what surely has become a band bound for glory.
Mind you, this show wasn’t some Mumford and Sons group with catchy riffs then a banjo explosion late in the song, this was true jamgrass through and through every song. The crowd wasn’t there to sing along to the radio hits, they were there to sing along to every song. That was the understated highlight of the night – amid all this folk/bluegrass music that has come out in the past few years, Eastbound Jesus stands head and shoulders above the mainstream acts; the party they threw for the release of Northern Rock is evidence of that.
Set 1: Out Yonder, 54 Miles, Waitin’ on the Sun, Sittin’ by the River, Talkin to John, Katy Belle, North Country Girl, Where the Winter Goes, My Old Pickup, I Wouldn’t Know, Above the Water
Set 2: Hold on me Now, Nothin’ to Say, Goin’ Steady, Corn Whisky, Ghost Town, The Road, Pickin’ It, Take a Ride, Easy Now, Pipe Dreams, Times Wastin’, Holy Smokes!, Turn on your Lovelight, Doors Open
Encore: Ballad of Eastboud Jesus, Eastbound and Down > Hold on me Now
Photos by Tom Miller