Sweaty and traveled, but with their makeup and music just right, The Wild Ones and Bummer City took to the stage Tuesday in Somerville to perform their own sultry mix of garage, punk, and good old-fashioned foot-tapping rock ‘n roll.
The two bands traveled from Santa Cruz, California to Boston in their off-white passenger van, fondly named the “Butt.” They were greeted by a small, but enthusiastic crowd at Radio in Union Square, who came to see two bands that brought their own unique flavors to a city that often doesn’t get to experience a true beach-bum sound.
Having played in Cleveland the night before, the bands drove through the night to their first East Coast appearance, and for many of the members, their debut on the other side of the country. Musicians in both bands, which share members, have gained their own notoriety along the West Coast, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area from their previous groups and innovative projects. Blending the youthful spirit of punk rock with the good time, Californian feel of early surf rock, each band extols what draws many to West Coast sound and punk rock, producing something unique and yet still classic.
Bummer City, fueled by Ancient Age, the famous American Whiskey, and Bo Diddly, was started in 2011 and has blossomed since its inception.
Headed by Mitch Crews on guitar and vocals, Tyler Frome on guitar and vocals, Rachael Chavez on bass, and Marisa Kurk on drums, the band is nothing but spectacular and far from a bummer. With a stage chemistry that makes the group downright fun to watch--from Crews’ and Frome’s handling of their guitars to the smile on Kurk’s face as she bangs out the band’s fast paced, twist-inducing beat--the group puts on a fantastic show.
The Wild Ones, an all-female four piece with members as hot as their sound, follows the traditions of the greats of early punk, surf, and soul adding a flair that is pure fun and excitement.
Developed from a wicked hangover in 2011, the group hangs onto Chavez and Kurk and swaps in Belle Potter on vocals and guitar, while Hilary Weisert backs up the group with steady bass. The 20-somethings often say their influences center around “boobs, butts, beers, boys, and snacks,” providing a spontaneous, almost giddy sound. The band members handily played their songs at full volume Tuesday, delivering consistent tunes and providing a cool sound on the warm Boston night. With a soft touch, the four-piece manages to focus the attention of the entire room on the group, even if a few onlookers are just checking out their legs.
Although the bands blew through Boston, they are playing shows across the country during their “Day Drunk/Stay Drunk Tour.”