[A]s Kevin Devine and Andy Hull talk about name-checking P.T. Anderson’s film “The Master” for a crowd in Santa Barbra as example of poor stage banter, you get the sense that these guys absolutely love playing music together. Bad Books is an exercise of exuberant friendship and musicianship. You see it when Benjamin Homola grimaces before unleashing a high snare hit, and as Robert McDowell tosses off his cap for fuller hair whipping. You see it when Jonathan Corley and Chris Freeman crack a joke over bass and tambourine rhythms. These guys just love sharing the stage, and have made their “solo” projects that much stronger by working out material together.
Side Note: The Sinclair just became my favorite music venue in Boston. Risers in the balcony, five foot high stage, a bar area away from the main floor area (Pretty Things on draft!), and ample space around the ticket window makes for a great concert experience. With bookings through Bowery Boston, this place is doing things right.