Boston is without a doubt one of the most opportunistic cities for music lovers. Whether you are a creator or an active listener, the music scene is thriving. From opportunities to collaborate with numerous accomplished musicians around the city to the multitude of underground venues in which you can showcase your newest tracks, artists are constantly utilizing the advantages that accompany playing in a city in which the appreciation of music is flourishing.
Some of BC’s very own have set out on the trek to break the BC bubble by showcasing their music on a more expansive platform. That is, bravely taking on the Boston crowds in hopes of making themselves better known.
Last Thursday, I ventured to Cambridge's Middle East Nightclub to support a few of BC’s active, gig-playing musicians. With promises of cheap entry and music that I had been ensured would be worth the journey, I was able to persuade some friends to join.
Entering the venue, we caught the final captivating measures of Earthmother, the opener, as they finished up their set. While the stage was reset, the previously half-filled room flooded with attendees eagerly anticipating the start of the show. Consisting of friends of the performers as well as random walk-ins, the crowd gave off an aura of genuine intrigue in the succeeding performances.
Ryan Bradley, MCAS ‘18, accompanied by special guest Liz McGovern, MCAS ‘18, took the stage with plans to debut two originals as well as two covers. The combination of Bradley’s carefully crafted melodies on the keys and McGovern’s seemingly effortless vocals created a sound that naturally filled the room and sweetly flowed from ear to ear.
Covering Chance the Rapper’s “Same Drugs,” McGovern incorporated her own stylistic nuances that made the version unique from the original. Bradley added some of his own vocals along with his usual role on the keys to create a fuller sound. Evidently a crowd favorite, the duo covered “House of the Rising Sun,” accompanied by the crowd’s less harmonious yet just as dedicated vocals.
The combination of Bradley’s mellow, fluid, R&B-esque keyboard skills and McGovern’s smooth, perfectly tuned vocals created a balance that displayed that the two were clearly meant to collaborate.
Living in Manhattan this past summer, Bradley dedicated his time to experimentation with music production and songwriting. His work evidently paid off as the crowd remained responsive as they grooved to his two originals, “Demons” and “Never the Same."
As Bradley and McGovern descended from the stage, Griffin Robillard, MCAS ‘17, and the Well Endowed continued immersing the crowd in original music and lyrics that kept the crowd on its feet.
Robillard’s folk-singer-songwriter style was accompanied by a full band, creating an upbeat, robust sound. Robillard and the Well Endowed formed a cohesive modern-folk sound that moved the crowd and retained the energy that Bradley and McGovern previously established.
Robillard’s EP, Somewhere Between Red and Green, features five tracks that exhibit a combination of rock traditional folk sound and classic folk-singer-songwriter lyrics.
As the crowd slowly dwindled, the show came to an end. The palpable energy generated by the musicians and the consequent reciprocation of that energy from the crowd has lead me to predict: this is not the last time Bradley and Robillard will be performing for Boston audiences.
Proud midwesterner, but Boston is pretty neat too. Music over everything. Hoping to find a way to make a living on half written songs -- or something like that. Forever aspiring to climb Ron Swanson's pyramid of greatness.