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Photos + Review | Deer Tick + Mutual Benefit @ Somerville Theatre

Wednesdays, they don’t usually have much going for them. It’s just this boring old middle of the week day where you have just battled through the first two work days and the weekend is still a tease on the horizon. That’s why I pretty much hate Wednesdays. Unless of course there is an amazing show to attend that makes everything all right for a while.

On March 16th the Music Savage gang, and a few hundred of our friends, had a particularly fantastic Wednesday because we had all day to anticipate an evening at Somerville Theater with Rhode Island’s one and only Deer Tick. The band were nearing the end of their acoustic spring tour for 2016 which had been announced in December and sold out the moment tickets when on sale. We were feeling pretty good about being there.

More importantly, for those lucky enough to be attendance, the boys in the band were feeling pretty good about there as well. The tour had kicked off in Nashville on March 2nd and the few weeks of playing in front of eager fans had everyone in high spirits. I’m pretty sure however that THIS Boston area crowd were the most excited. After all, Deer Tick is our beloved New England band and we hadn’t seen much of the boys on stage together since their rip-roaring 2014 Newport Folk Festival performance.

Let’s talk about this set shall we. Kicking off the evening beautifully with, “Twenty Miles,” the softer, gentler Deer Tick rearranged melodies and discovered new directions of sound in well loved songs. “Smith Hill” from 2009’s Born on Flag Day worked its magic with John McCauley swapping between a penny whistle and an Irish bouzouki, and Dennis Ryan providing vocal harmony while steadily keeping the beat.

With five great albums to select from, and many shows played together since their first record in 2007 as Deer Tick, it was really something special to hear and watch a group of friends rekindle that fire to create music together. The War Elephant favorite, “Christ Jesus,” was powerfully moving on piano, the Velvet Underground’s,”Pale Blue Eyes,” was superbly performed by guitarist Ian O’Neil, and the cover of the Pogues, “Dirty Old Town,” saw the band’s right-hand man Spencer join the band on fiddle. Ending the night with the crowd favorite number, “Ashamed,” the audience sang and clapped along with fervent glee, knowing that we had all been a part of something truly special, and that everything had in fact been all right for a while.

Austin-Boston-NYC musician Jordan Lee’s project Mutual Benefit started off the evening with a witty, lo-fi collection of songs from the singer’s many digital recordings, as well as his first full-length LP. Lee was charming in between songs, telling stories of being on the road with Deer Tick, and the shows with less than attentive audience members. With solid song-writing and a great band it’s kind of a shame that some people along the way missed out on getting to know these guys. I can tell you that they had the Somerville Theater audience’s undivided attention. Really nice stuff, be sure to check them out. Mutual Benefit’s upcoming release Skip a Sinking Stone will be out this May via Mom + Pop here in the states.

Here’s a few great videos for your listening pleasure, and some great photos for your viewing pleasure, taken by the one and only Steve Benoit of Boston Concert Photography.

Christ Jesus – Deer Tick @ Somerville Theater // 03.16.16

Ashamed – Deer Tick @ Somerville Theater // 03.16.16

Dirty Old Town (Pogues Cover) – Deer Tick @ Somerville Theater // 03.16.16

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