RADIO READY At the Middle East, the Rationales showed that their already excellent songwriting is getting even better.
Following a strong showing in this year's Rock 'n' Roll Rumble, it wasn't much of a surprise that the Rationales would go over big at the Middle East upstairs last Friday. Dishing up power-pop, sometimes with an Americana tint, the five-piece were making their debut appearance at the venue, a highlight on a strong bill that also featured the Susan Constant, When Particles Collide, and the Self-Proclaimed Rock Stars.
The Rationales ramped up the energy in the room from the start with "No Guarantees," from their 2008 EP The Going and the Gone. But it was "Drunk All the Time" that kicked it up a notch. The title pretty much sums it up, and, creeping past 11 pm, a well-lubricated Cambridge crowd — even those hearing the song for the first time — were singing along loudly by the second chorus, holding Narragansett tallboys high.
Led by singer and guitarist David Mirabella, the Rationales have spent the past five years honing a sound that has created some of the most accessible melodic rock around. A great deal has been made about this year's single, "Radio," and deservedly so — the song is fantastic. Mirabella keeps getting stronger as a songwriter, as made evident by new songs like "Little Bit." He is a big man in a lot of ways, but his actual physical size is difficult not to comment on, since it actually arouses concern. At the Middle East, he spent the entirety of his show using a stool for support. "Music is a nice diversion — but it's creeping on that," he said solemnly after the show, addressing the issue of weight and health. "I know people are worried. . . . I'm trying to correct it."
Here's hoping Mirabella does, because the Rationales' songs are already larger than life and full of promise.
: Live Reviews
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