This Providence headlines The Middle East

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By Nick DiNatale with Lena Mirisola
Staff Writers

Topher Talley of The Bigger Lights bringing emotion to The Middle East’s stage.

The ‘Bout Damn Time Tour arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts on April 13th 2010, at The Middle East restaurant in order to play for a rather large crowd of indie-rock and pop-punk fans. The tour, which travels all across the country, features The Bigger Lights, Anarbor, The Audition and This Providence, whose hometown the tour ends in; Seattle, Washington.

The Bigger Lights began the night with their twist on the customary pop-punk sound. Frontman Topher Talley’s unique sounding vocals set the band apart from other members of the genre; a trait which can either make or break a band that belongs to the pop-punk label. They captivated the crowd with a great deal of charisma from their members (led by Talley) on stage, along with a high quality musical performance. Their set featured songs from both their EP, and their debut self-titled album.

The memory of The Bigger Lights’ set would outlast that of their fellow tourmates, Anarbor, who made a sub-par appearance on stage. Anarbor’s sound is far less exciting than most pop-punk bands and not overly dynamic, as far as the genre goes. Their stage presence lacked severely, with the members simply standing in place for much of the set. Their set, which included songs from their EP and their most recent full length, excited members of the audience who were already fans of the band, but failed to impress many who were attending in order to see other bands on the tour.

Following Anarbor on stage was the veteran pop-punk act, The Audition. With four albums under their belt, they were the most experienced of the bands on the ‘Bout Damn Time Tour. Of the four bands on the tour, their sound fell the closest to the typical pop-punk sound. However, despite their minor lack of originality as far as their sound goes, the band made up for it with an above average amount of excitement and presence on stage. They pranced around The Middle East’s stage, playing their hearts out and just having a great time. Their set was one that most definitely deserved to be the last act before giving the stage to This Providence.

This Providence is an indie-rock band with three full albums and two EPs to their name. Their music strays from the conventional sound of pop-punk while fusing elements of the genre with elements that are better described as “indie”. Either way, the band manages to draw in fans of pop-punk and indie music alike.

Entering the stage with “The Boys Are Back In Town” by Thin Lizzy playing through the PA system, the crowd went absolutely wild with excitement, welcoming This Providence to The Middle East’s stage. The light show for the band exceeded those of the previous bands, with extra lights illuminating them and accenting their performance nicely. This Providence played songs that appear on their debut, self-titled album such as “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing”, in addition to newer songs such as “My Beautiful Rescue”, which appears on their most recent full-length, “Who Are You Now”.

Daniel Young of This Providence singing to the crowd.

This Providence proved themselves to be a very worthy headliner for the tour, and put on a memorable show. They captured the audience’s attention with their stage presence, in addition to their music’s presence and its captivating rhythm.

Hosting the tour for the night was The Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub. The Middle East is definitely one of the top venues in the Boston area to catch a band on tour at. The club features many local and national acts, generally falling under genres such as alternative rock, pop, electronic, punk-pop, and other similar styles of music. In addition to hosting a large number of shows, the venue is cleanly and well organized. It is also located in a nice section of Cambridge, along Massachusetts Avenue, just a short walk from the Central Square subway station. For those that may come across the opportunity to see a show at The Middle East, it is a highly recommended experience.

Note from the authors: Thank you to Kelly McWilliam from Atlantic Records for setting us up with photo passes.

Check out our flickr page in order to see pictures from this show, in addition to ones from the Alternative Press Tour. Also, we will be shooting for I See Stars, VersaEmerge, Let’s Get It and others later this week.