Thursday, 4 February 2010

603 MASS CANN FREEDOM RALLY 2003, featuring WALTHAM, Boston Common, Boston MA USA, Saturday 20 September 2003

Hey Hey what's that sound? We'd breakfasted with our host, Carol Hurley, then opted for a nice day chilling on Boston Common, only to find police and crowds milling around the common on this fine Indian Summer September afternoon. We follow the noise and find ourselves in the middle of a pro-Cannabis rally, so we decide to join in, and sit and chill on the, erm, grass!

Ad Frank had last night mentioned that the Dresden Dolls, this year's WBCN "Rumble" winners, were playing on the Common, but we arrived too late to catch them. Our first music was therefore some hip-hop from SCRATCH TRACK, then a couple of speeches from various local dignitaries, before the onstage arrival of WALTHAM, a hotly-tipped act from a Boston trip a couple of years ago. Waltham burst onstage in a flurry of tattoos, big riffs and arms punching the air, from both their fan club down the front, and from vocalist Frankie Pino. He resembles my old friend Paul Crowfoot, but has an attention-grabbing presence onstage. Waltham actually are great; midway between the dynamic power-pop of an American Hi-Fi and the big chorus-driven 80's stadium pomp rock of such as Bon Jovi, if you can imagine such a marriage. Big stomping beats collide with immediate and memorable sing-along hooks and choruses, the hook, "come and take a ride," in their best number "Cheryl", typical. I get the feeling that this would be great music to shout along to in the car, and after their set Rach and I find their merch tent and buy their album. We also meet and greet vocalist Frankie and his guitar buddy, who tell us they've been compared to the Darkness. No, boys, you're a serious band - they're not!

We nose around the stalls some more while the FOUNDATION lay down some hip-hop grooves, then a couple of speeches later we have the nu-metal blues of SCISSORFIGHT. They're not as horrendous as that sounds - a bit of old school blues in their stuff lifts them out of the usual nu-metal cesspool - but after Waltham they're poor fayre, so with nothing else on the schedule we bid farewell to an unexpected Mass Cann!

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