You know that dinner cruise you went on in eighth grade? Well, picture that, but ten thousand times better, with plenty of alcohol, way more hipsters, and some amazing live music, and you’ve got last Thursday’s Rock On! Concert Cruise (Aunt Martha and Deer Tick: zohmygod).
Usually when I go to a concert, I’m the kind of person determined to weasel my way to the front, feeling strongly that a concert experience is not complete unless you’re capable of locking eyes with the lead singer. Plus, as a girl lacking anything special in the height department, not being close to the stage usually means resigning myself to staring at the sweaty back of some six-foot-four giant for the entire show. When you’re afloat in Boston harbor at sunset however, it’s a different story. We planted ourselves by the railing as Aunt Martha took the helm.
To put it simply, Aunt Martha blew me away. You know that feeling where you hear a band for the first time and instantly know that you’re about to embark on a long and passionate musical love affair? Yeah, that’s what it was like.
Sure, the tangerine sky and sparkling waves added to the mood, but Aunt Martha’s sound would’ve stopped me in my tracks regardless.
Around lead singer Tim Noye’s startlingly engaging lyrics swirled rich acoustic guitar and soaring violin. Eargasms ensued. Seriously, if you weren’t obsessed with this band already, get on that. Now.
Between bands, a compulsory blasting of “I’m on a Boat” had the crowd breaking out some sick dance moves and shouting along, and a general feeling of giddy badass-ery buzzed through the boat as intoxication levels continued to climb. (I watched a guy drop one of the three beers that he had clenched in his paws, only to solve the problem of its miniature explosion by promptly shot-gunning every last drop.)
By the time that Deer Tick appeared, we had decided to wedge ourselves into the middle of crowd, and when the first chords rang out, there was an instant sardine effect coupled with an outbreak of flailing arms and stomping feet. “Easy,” with its irresistible beat and sing-out-at-the-top-of-your-lungs type lyrics, rolled out second, and I was hit with two profound truths:
1) The men of Deer Tick are musical gods, championing indie folk with their own glorious brand of bluesy, gutturally-sung, lyrically rich rock and 2) I’d rarely felt/seen/heard such vigorous excitement before at a concert.
Other set highlights included “Little White Lies,” “Ashamed” (it was hard to tell which part of the subsequent swaying was simply the crowd reveling in the perfection of the song, and which part was wave induced), a Nirvana cover, and “These Old Shoes.”
When Deer Tick finally stepped down, the “One-more-song!” screaming crowd, though not granted their wish, became swept up in a “Don’t Stop Believin’” dance party. Sweaty, drunken, and dripping with the residual joy encouraged by such an amazing show, we howled our elation at the sea.