Frontier Ruckus made my favorite album of 2010 and also played one of my favorite shows of the year - a uniquely intimate show at Harper's Ferry where the band turned a cavernous, empty room into a special, unforgettable moment. In February the band returned to Boston and this time found themselves playing to a packed crowd at Berklee's Red Room at Cafe 939. This was my first show at the Red Room, but it won't be my last - it's an intimate space with a fantastic sound system and the added bonus of a full-service cafe next door.
The David Mayfield Parade opened, with super-talented David Mayfield playing an excellent set of quirky folk songs. I admit I wasn't familiar with Mayfield prior to the show, but he's someone you want to get into right now. His engaging stage presence and virtuosic guitar style almost distracts from the quality of the songs - but it makes for a fun show. His recently-released record features his sister Jessica Lea Mayfield and The Avett Brothers and is a great listen - definitely recommended, you'll be hearing more about him.
Frontier Ruckus appeared visibly surprised to be playing to a packed room after their last experience in Boston, but also weary from the effects of the flu. Opening with "Silverfishes", a highlight from last year's Deadmalls & Nightfalls, the band mixed in tracks from 2008's The Orion Songbook and brand new tracks. Extended breaks between songs featured equal parts nose-blowing/tea-drinking and humorous banter with the crowd, giving the show a relaxed pace and intimate feel. The still-packed crowd sat rapt as the band played four gorgeous songs, unamplified, to close out the set, Matthew Millia's quivering voice reberating through the room without the artificial disconnect of a microphone. A truly gorgeous set from one of my favorite bands.
Full recording is below - sound is excellent thanks to pristine sound in the room. Please do yourself a favor and buy both Frontier Ruckus albums (you won't be sorry). Enjoy!
Red Room @ Cafe 939 - Boston, MA
February 12, 2011
Full set download (mp3 zip)
Videos of Silverfishes and Rosemont from Cafe 939, courtesy of our friends at Kitchen Sessions:
Huge thanks to Lily from You're Not Your for the photo you see above!