add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );Somerville PorchFest brought live music outdoors to the community - BANG.
Julianna Pijar / Gavel Media

Somerville PorchFest brought live music outdoors to the community

An annual to-do, PorchFest is a token of the Somerville community, providing local musicians of every genre the ability to perform from their own homes. The entirety of the neighborhood is transformed into a walking festival, as PorchFest goers gather and walk from porch to porch to listen to some tunes. The event, which took place this year on October 2nd in Somerville, occurs in different neighborhoods across the greater Boston area annually. 

THE 890s

Usually filled with students bustling to and from the Tufts University campus, Broadway isn't the first street one would think to host a rock concert. But, on the second of October, the busy street was transformed; a large blue house with a cluttered porch hosted the 890s, a funk rock group. The blaring bass and heavy drum solos fills the air, attracting groups of PorchFest attendees from every which corner to pile in front of 890 Broadway. To the left of the performance, a grey-haired woman stands next to a keg, handing out red solo cups to passersby. Cheers can be heard from all over, as a simple, "Yeah!!" to the more eloquent, "OwOw!" cheer on the band, adding on to the encouraging honks from cars as they drive by. And then, the band starts their next song. As the five-man band begins, their self-titled funk rock genre begins to make sense. Their cover of a song by Weezer holds the rock instrumentals, as the lead singers voice introduces a new funk-like tremble. As the song winds down, new groups shuffle closer, as those who have hung out for a while drift on to the next porch, looking for something new.


The next porch performance differs quite a bit from the last. For starters, it doesn't take place on an actual porch. Rather, Casey and Dave sit on chairs in front of 84 Irving Street, just off Broadway. Dave strums an acoustic guitar, rhythmically bopping his head as his partner sings the lyrics to "Kiss Me." The ambiance differs dramatically, as young children run up and down the residential street, chasing the plethora of colorful balloons that have been relinquished from their decorative duties. People dance and sway as Casey's beautiful voice triumphs over the light chatter and giggles of the youngsters. "Let's take it from here?" Casey asks Dave, pointing to a prior verse after hitting a wrong note. There's no sound stress or worry of a judgmental audience in her voice as she effortlessly picks the melody back up again, singing as if nothing had happened. When she finishes her ballad, a silence fills the street, and it feels as though the onlookers collectively decide to sit with the song they just listened to. As this sweet duo finishes their set, many stay, hoping for another soft-spoken rendition of a classic.


Further down the street, nearing Davis Square, we find ourselves in a wacky corner, listening to a three-man band, titled The Accusations. A folk group, the three men played instruments, like the banjo and the oboe, that contributed to their very unique sound. The lead singer, Steve, belts out his rendition of "The Way You Make Me Feel," adding a folksy flair to it. A young girl and her mother dance, twirling around one another as the obscure tunes set their pace. As the clock nears 2pm, ending their set, Steve encourages the crowd to make their way deeper into Somerville, where more sets will begin at 2:30.

To view this article as an interactive map, click here

+ posts