The Welch Boys / Burning Streets / The Blue Bloods / Dirty Water / The McGunks / The Old Edison / Lenny Lashley
Great Scott, Allston, MA 11/16/13
So this is a benefit for the Pine Street Inn, maybe the biggest homeless shelter in Boston. When I was in better financial straits I would give money to St. Francis House in the combat zone which actually is the biggest homeless shelter here. Anyways, the homeless has always been the favorite charity of mine. I guess knowing I might have ended up like that without my family in my younger days but anyways, it’s a great charity and more important than the bands or anything I write about it.
This is a two day event that is organized each year by T.J. Welch of The Welch Boys and big kudos to him and them for having such a wonderful event. I heard they raked in mad loot and big kudos to the fans who showed up and the hardcore community for being involved in this.
First up is Lenny Lashley, but no! It’s Joe Strummer as an acoustic version of the Clash’s “Spanish Bombs” is heard by my ears.
Yes, it’s Lenny of Darkbuster fame and he does that tune plus favorites like “JFK,” about being stuck on the red-line. In-between one of the songs he mentions by name all of the bands that will be playing tonight. He’s quite pleased he remembered them all, “I figured I’d have more success if I’d say them all at once and not spread them between songs, “he laughs.
Needless to say it’s always a pleasure to hear Lenny sings his songs and in my opinion, and in quite a few others, he’s one of the best songwriters that Boston has produced.
Old favorite Old Edison is next and on a big stage their intimate charm is still evident. I think of their music as drunken, poetic rants at three a.m. As the backing musicians wail the lyrics off mike it’s not meant to be theatrical, I believe, but because of the passion they feel in the music and I do as well.
The McGunks are up and I always wonder why bands play after them as I know they’ll be the best band of the night. Best band I know? Maybe not- but best live band? Yes.
As I watch them open with “You’re Dead To Me” I notice a couple of ex’s pass each other without acknowledging each other’s presence and it makes me take note.
I’m thinking this will be the best set of the night and later it will be proved that I was thinking right. When they take a mediocre country/pop song like “The Gambler” and turn it into something sounding like Johnny Cash backed by Motorhead then you know they’re doing something right.
I knew their bassist, Peter Martone, was leaving the band to devote more time to his family. I did not know that this was his last show. I want to thank him for what he brought to the McGunks, being Bob McGunks right hand man for many years. And as they close with “Ace Of Spades” (And no, it does not sound like Garth Brooks backed by Matchbox 20) I know that Peter is number one in my book and The McGunks should be number one by anyone who’s seen them.
Next is Dirty Water with Mark Lind from the Ducky Boys but with a more supporting role, more back-up vocals than lead here. Hard act to follow but they do well with a style of gutsy street punk/ pop punk sounds.
Named after a sixties song by The Standells they keep the tradition of gritty, garage punk sounds alive. I have to mention that Mark has started a series of shows that combine music along with comedy and spoken word and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this idea and hope to be involved.
The Blue Bloods take the stage and in the upper echelon of local punk bands they might be my fave. Another band with a mix of street punk and pop punk they have a lot of great, passionate songs anchored by an excellent drummer. Always a pleasure to see these guys and tonight is no exception.
Burning Street is next another popular touring band. This is the first time I’ve seen them and though this is the eleventh band I’ve seen today, seeing a matinee beforehand, I can see why they’re popular.
They is pop/punk mixed with scruffy rock’n’roll, more high energy rock than hardcore which is not a bad thing and they turn in a great set.
Up to finish the night off is The Welch Boys, maybe similar in style to the last three bands but still one of the most popular local hardcore/punk bands around. I’ve seen too many bands to comment thoroughly. It’s my second show, twelfth band, and seventy-ninth drink- so let me say once again. Thank you T.J Welsh and thank you boys; you’re a great band doing a great thing for a truly great cause.
I guess I could also mention that it was promoter Viviam’s birthday today and Jo and Carolyn baked her a birthday dick cake. Not being a chef I was unfamiliar with this term but it’s basically a cake in the shape of a dick.
I could mention that sweet Shelly had a wool hat with the word “Bitch” on it. Now, a real bitch does not like to advertise as such and I told her, truthfully, her hat should say “Sweetheart.”
Or I could mention that I haven’t been this excited about seeing bands and doing what I do creatively since 1980. And it’s true- I forget to eat. I had to remember tonight to grab a couple of slices of pizza before I went to the second show. I forget to sleep. I was at an after party and a girl showed me her phone, “Look it’s 4:44, make a wish.” And as I looked around at the young people passed out around me I realize I had to work at three the next day and I should go home and sleep before then.
But I should mention I feel blessed to witness all of you, all the bands, all the fans and of all the cool, awesome times.
But I won’t.
Since its 1980 again I’m just gonna play it cool and lean against the wall in the back of the club with my black leather jacket and my skinny black jeans and not mention it at all.