Dinner ran a bit late, and when I finally arrived at SPACE, the Dirty Dishes were on their last song. When I yelled into the door guy's ear, "Is it really loud or am I just getting old?" he couldn't understand me. The rest of the crowd seemed enthralled by the out-of-town opening band, but my ears and I were just glad it was over.

Indie darlings the Milkman's Union took the stage shortly thereafter, featuring the requisite Portland uniform: glasses, beards, and plaid shirts. Their performance, with a charming mix of confidence and awkwardness, was remarkably similar to their recorded material — a sign of a lot of hard work, practice, and dedication. Their sound inspired one hipster to do his best zombie-dance throughout the show. Once "Alabaster Box" was out of the way (with its over-emphasized syncopation it's my least favorite song in their repertoire), I couldn't help but begin to imagine their songs in a Zooey Deschanel rom-com, even some of the jammier parts.

Of course, we were there to celebrate In the Audience's new EP. They played with the kind of exuberance and hopefulness that older, more seasoned musicians have long lost. My first thought was that they did an excellent job creating that post-hardcore, four-guitar wall of sound I'd become so accustomed to hearing at shows when I was their age. But I actually recommend getting familiar with some of the material before going to their next show. The recordings are more nuanced and a better illustration of the songwriting talent of these young musicians than the live show.

  Topics: New England Music News , Music, rock, SPACE Gallery,  More more >
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