“The best thing about afternoon shows is that no one questions you for cracking a beer at 1pm,” declared Wild Sun frontman Glenn Kendzia as his band took the stage. This seemed to quickly become the theme at the Behind the Curtains Day Party at Arlene’s Grocery, with the bands repeatedly toasting the crowd throughout the afternoon.
Promoting their new album, Little Things, which just came out last month, Rhode Island-based Wild Sun was first to take the stage. The trio brought a high-energy, sunny vibe to the stage, with a passion that could be felt shining through their performance. Kendzia poured himself into every line of every song, with a rawness seemingly drawn from his personal experiences. Their songs were catchy, yet reflective, with Kendzia explaining that “Amateurland” was written about the current state of the world because “that’s what it feels like.”
The Gills, from Nashville, were next up. These guys were purely explosive rock and roll with a hint of vintage flavor. Their pulsing set made it near impossible to stand still as they launched into a series of punchy, guitar-driven tracks. Their new single, “Rubberband,” closed things out, truly living up to the name by creating a sort of “stretching” feeling as the song bounced back and forth between tempos with a building transition between each one.
ZERO HOLDS, from Massachusetts, rounded out the day party triad with a gritty set to finish off the afternoon. “It’s a pleasure to be here day drinking with you!,” yelled singer Joe Touchette as he took the mic, continuing the party that started earlier in the day. An uplifting theme carried through their heavy set, with Touchette asking the crowd, “Don’t you want to wake up every day and do a little bit of good for the world?” before plunging into their song “Opposite.”
With some extra space in my afternoon schedule, my spontaneous decision to head to Arlene’s early was surely a satisfying one. All three bands delivered rocking sets Thursday, a perfect way to spend the afternoon before continuing onto an evening filled with more CMJ madness.
Article: Nicole Shyti