The Short List: FRB Staff Concert Picks of the Week (September 17 – 23)

Each week, Front Row Boston’s staff gives you our Short List: the bands and musicians in and around town we think you should hear.

Sunday, 9/17 — Big Thief at The Sinclair

We literally just got back from Holyoke where we were recording a new Front Row Boston show with Adrienne, Max, and James — aka Big Thief — and we’re here to tell you that you need to be at this show. What can you expect? Something intimate and calm; almost sleepy at times. But, in a way, that’s the state you need to be in in order to absorb their energy and enchanting music. “Even though [our music] can be heavy and sad, it can also be vibrant. That’s the pillar. That’s at the center,” Lenker tells Stereogum in a recent interview. “That’s where the audience, the band, and me are meeting at this center, and the center is the meaning. The vulnerability of going there is also what makes it so beautiful.” Twain and Boston-based favorite Palehound will open, and follow us on Facebook to be the first to know when our recording is ready.


Thursday, 9/21 — Ozone Squeeze at the Regattabar

We’re digging this new funk/soul trio. And lucky you, their debut, self-titled album came out last week and they’re embarking on a U.S. tour, which includes a stop in Boston. These guys love covers, and they have a knack for providing a common ground, but are not subject to common treatments. For example, The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” is reborn as slow-burning soul testimony. “When approaching established material,” band member Oz Noy explains, “you need to support the song, but still give it your own twist and sound. It’s a subtle thing.” For Ozone Squeeze, the song feeds into the improvisations while, at the same time, the improvisations feed back into the song. And it works.

Friday, 9/22 — Oh Wonder at House of Blues

Oh Wonder is on the road and currently in the U.S. with their second studio album Ultralife, a musical trip that explores the energy behind the highs and lows of the human experience. “For me it’s a reassurance to listeners that you’re not bizarre, or weird, or unusual for constantly doubting yourself, or constantly craving people or independence,” band member Josephine tells “Whatever friendship, independence and freedom means to you, you should celebrate that and not fear, not worry.” Sounds like the band’s trying to start some much-needed conversations. We’re curious to see how this album’s themes unfold on a live audience. And we’re sure it’s something the band enjoys watching each night on this tour.  Jaymes Young will open.

Sunday, 9/23 — Quicksand at the Paradise Rock Club

You guys. It’s been 22 years since we last heard from Quicksand. And now their new album, Interiors, is due out in November through Epitaph. We’re really enjoying this flood of incredible bands from the 90’s reappearing with new music. And we love our NYC hardcore. These are the guys that defined that sound for many music fans. But we have to ask: why now? “It was all just about being ourselves and who we were as well as who we are,” frontman Walter Schreifels tells “We did it for us completely.” Works for us. We’ll definitely see you in the front row.