Keely Chisholm ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Amid the beginning stages of Boston’s third winter storm, Brighton Music Hall was very much alive on Sunday night. Indie rock band The Tragic Thrills took the stage, following two opening acts.
Local musician Carly Tefft started the night with a lively blend of singer-songwriter, folk, and acoustic pop that got the dozen or so people in the room tapping their feet and nodding along. Playing a mix of covers and originals, Tefft’s simple, unpretentious arrangements and stage presence filled the hall with warmth—definitely something welcome after coming in from the snow.
By the time Boston indie pop band Night Lights took the stage, more people had trickled in, filling in the center of the floor. From the opening guitar riffs and drum rhythms, the atmosphere changed; Tefft’s music put the crowd at ease, but Night Lights woke everybody up and kept them on their toes. They got people dancing, waving glow sticks, and definitely had a fun time onstage themselves.
It was clear, though, by the time The Night Lights left the stage, that The Tragic Thrills were the most anticipated act of the night. With roots in San Diego, California, the band had undergone lineup changes since their conception in late 2013. You wouldn’t have been able to tell, though—the five members were nothing but unified, playing together and interacting onstage as though they’d all been together for years.
It’s not always the case that a band good in the recording studio translates that to the stage. The Tragic Thrills don’t have this problem. Live, they’re dynamic, energetic, and dramatic, with every bit of soul captured in the recordings magnified in person. As if to prove this from the start, vocalist Zach Porter stole the spotlight in nearly no time at all, improvising dramatic vocal riffs midway through the second song, “Crazy.”
The setlist was a mix of the band’s debut album, including tracks such as “Tears,” “Gospel,” and “Creeps & Strangers,” plus new music yet to be released. For a debut album of ten songs, some might have found the absence of two tracks (which is technically one-fifth of the album) notable.
An impromptu encore saw that number reduced to one, with a surprise, unplanned performance of the album’s closer, “Main Girl.” Porter claimed it was because he’d never rehearsed the song before. The crowd didn’t seem to mind, singing the lyrics when Porter forgot them.
“That’s what happens when you don’t practice,” he joked after the song was over.
The Tragic Thrills will be touring the U.S. through mid-March, joined by various local acts and, in certain cities, acts American Idol winner Lee DeWyze and rock band Trapper Schoepp.