Frank Smith, Great Scott, February 24, 2007
It was an evening of false endings at Great Scott. What was taken by many to be the swan song for local alt-country favorites Frank Smith was by no means the band’s final show. No, Frank Smith are simply relocating to Austin, a college town much like Boston except for its warmer weather and annual South by Southwest festival. Nonetheless, it wasn’t easy for the band to say goodbye to the saddened capacity crowd, who sang along with each tune while swilling from cans of PBR. “This is our last song,” lead singer Aaron Sinclair announced before going on to play three more.
Great Scott always has the feel of a friend’s parents’ musty old basement, and the farewell show felt something like a parents-are-out-of-town party. By the time Age Rings kicked off the show — with a set that included an inspired cover of an unreleased Air tune, “One Hell of a Party” — the room was packed. Then Viva Viva invaded the stage. Frontmen Dave Vicini and Chris Warren looked a bit like mismatched rock-and-roll cartoon characters up there with their guitars, Vicini quite a bit taller than Warren, and both scruffy-haired and devil-may-care. But their songs were well crafted and hook filled.
When Frank Smith finally crammed onto the tiny stage, they displayed the ease and confidence of seasoned vets, even though they’re far from the oldest band on the scene. A set of familiar tunes like “Keep ’Em Out” and Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire” (one of their usual covers) was peppered with a few new ones. Friends kept the front of the stage supplied with beer; people danced and sang along to songs that ranged from haunting to heartfelt. There were no big surprises for this farewell: Juliana Hatfield, who’s recording an album with Frank Smith as her backing band, did not make a cameo. And Sinclair closed the show as if it were any other: “Tip your bartender, kiss your girlfriend, and call it a night.”
: Live Reviews
, Juliana Hatfield, Chris Warren, Frank Smith, More