Week 2 of the triumphant return of the Rock And Roll Rumble raged on at the the Middle East Upstairs on Thursday, April 13th for what was a bittersweet event for us having relatively recently reviewed 3 out of the 4 artists vying for a spot in the Semi-Final rounds. It also happened to be one of the loudest of the whole Rumble so far as attendees were greeted once again by our fabulous host, Anngelle Wood of Boston Emissions, to start a raucous night of, ahem, RAWK, and then some!
First up, The Freqs brought the LOUD for a frenetic and energetic set while clad in jumpsuits that almost brought the house down… or at least some of the drum kit which Wood valiantly attempted to fix during the set made up primarily of fresh tracks from this year’s Poachers release which included “Powertrippin'” and “Witch”. The Endorphins were acutely aware of the noise that Night 4 was bringing as bassist Austin Wilson offered up ear plugs for those in the front warning “It’s gonna get loud” before the rest of the band joined the stage, ignored the need for an intro, and just ripped into a set of pure Rawk like “Myopic Dystopia” and “Propagate” from their latest full-length Nothing Is Real.
The most immersive experience of the Rumble so far, Lowell’s Tysk Tysk Task seemingly morphed out of their elaborate (Read: ingenious) merch set up, antlers and all, to bring the forest to the Middle East Upstairs stage with an electrifying set that was both visceral and cathartic and kind of reminded us of early Melvins with the constant flow of fuzz as they tore through tracks like “Ocean Now” and “Rosegold”. Ruin The Nite brought the mellow and looked dapper doin’ it with a set that calmed things down, smoothed things over and ultimately won them the night as a horn section shined on, Jeff Nicolai’s keys brought the Soul (You might recognize Nicolai from Bird Language who’ll be double duty duking it out during the Semis), and Duggan’s gruff croon rattled off instant Boston Rawk classics from the recently released Sound The Alarm album.
Prior engagements kept us from Night 5 and Night 6 which saw The Chelsea Curve and Wildcat Slim prevail on their respective nights thus solidifying the Semi Final rounds. Speaking of! The 2023 edition of the Rock & Roll Rumble rolls into the Semi-Final round on April 21st & April 22nd at Sonia before concluding at the same venue with the Finals on May 6th. For updated ticket links and rosters, head here, and for the latest Rock & Roll Rumble news, click here, here, and here or just skip the middle man and visit the main website here.