Thursday, 4 February 2010

604 QUASI, Out Hud, Hella, Tunnel Of Love, Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge MA USA, Saturday 20 September 2003

Our second gig of the day, after the MassCann Rally this afternoon, and our third in Boston so far this trip, despite having been in town less than 24 hours! For this one we get a pizza at Hi-Fi on Central, then wander downstairs just before 9, after catching up on the upturn in fortunes of the Red Sox via the TV in the Middle East corner restaurant. Pete Stone, working the bar downstairs, had been popping up to check the score as well!

Tunnel Of Love, first up, are 3 painfully thin blokes in striped leggings and no tops, playing the lowest common denominator of thrashy garage rock on second hand kit and one floor snare. Oddly enough, they play on the dancefloor next to the bar, rather than onstage! The strutting, be-caped singer thinks he's Mick Jagger, a fact evidenced by their massacre of the Stones' "Get Off My Cloud". They're horrible but incredibly it gets worse! Hella, next up, play the worst form of freeform post-rock jazz imaginable, all twiddly guitars and off-kilter rums. It's migraine-inducing, really, but amazingly this crowd clap them! Out Hud, next up, at least use vocals occasionally, but are again predominantly tune-free. The keyboard-driven pap makes Rachel's head hurt.

Finally, after what seems like a trial by ordeal, Quasi arrive and play the intelligent keyboard based college pop of their reputation. A fine early, acerbic "Birds" and an almost jolly "Never Wanna See You Again" are nice, but frankly the 3 terrible support bands have worn us down, so we leave 3/4 through Quasi's set, getting a cab on the corner.

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