"The relentless emotion of the band's songs play a huge part in their popularity, yet they were sung in a different kind of way in the flesh."
It's a relatively well known fact that most of the groups associated with the Midwest emo-punk scene, while having a large cult following, don't tend to make it out of the country, much less to the other side of the world. But when The Hotelier released Home, Like Noplace Is There early last year, there was no denying that they were a cut above their peers — the band have tried and tested the motifs of the genre and have used them to create something both nostalgic and unique, and after Friday night's performance, the band proved they have the chops to absolutely nail the sound in a live setting as well as a studio one.
First things first though, Fingernail warmed up the crowd by taking 'raw' to another level — screams, mistimed drum beats and throbbing bass lines dominated the set, yet there were elements of certain B-52s songs and a Hunx & His Punx/Shannon & The Clams vibe about them that gave off a particular charm.
Sail On! Sail On! slayed up on stage — vocalist Simon O'Leary was full of charm and dished out quips right through the set, while the instrumental work was heavy and intense. The band played through a new track and it was a highlight of the set, a frenzied piece of work that demonstrated just how exciting the times ahead are for the four-piece.
Dan Cribb & The Isolated took us on a nostalgic trip to the early 2000s with some punchy skate-rock one would be inclined to hear on an early Tony Hawk's Pro Skater soundtrack, and given the style of songs played during the intermissions, the band suited this venue perfectly.
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That said, if anyone was better fitted to play The Boston, it would have to be Massachusetts' The Hotelier. The band may have been a fair way away from selling out the venue, but the crowd made themselves big by pushing right to the front of the stage and singing along as loud as they could with the band's notoriously popular opening set and album track An Introduction To The Album. Catchy pop-punk song In Framing followed, before the band played Title-Track (There Is A Light) from their debut album straight after. The relentless emotion of the band's songs play a huge part in their popularity, yet they were sung in a different kind of way in the flesh — it was rousing and liberating, and Among The Wildflowers, as well as Weathered, displayed it perfectly. The devastating tunes Your Deep Rest and Dendron closed out the set, and it all seemed over in the blink of an eye, many thinking they'd surely be back for an encore, but it wasn't to be.