June 19, 2013

That Was The Show That Was: Roomrunner with Shannon And The Clams | Great Scott | 17 June

Roomrunner, Great Scott, 17 June, 2013, photo by Dillon Riley (detail)

[PHOTO: D. Riley] Despite being underage, Great Scott and its community vibe, relatively spacious confines and decent sight lines has fast become a favorite of mine in the city. Plus, they always seem to book the best local gigs. So, I was pretty psyched to head there Monday to witness Baltimore noise-rockers Roomrunner open for hotly tipped psych-pop dynamo Mikal Cronin. What I wasn't expecting was the huge crowd. After all, this was Monday night in Boston.

I also missed the memo on the show being a four-band bill, so I walked in the club about halfway into Roomrunner's blazing set and was confronted by a formidable wall of bodies. Total bummer, I thought after making my way to about the tenth row of bobbing humans from the stage. However, Roomrunner being the impressive live act they are, I could still feel plenty of the energy the quartet was throwing off the stage, even from the proverbial nosebleed seats. The band tore its way through cuts off their recently issued debut long-player Ideal Cities during what amounted to an all-too-brief half-hour. The performance -- what I saw of it -- was highlighted by a strikingly volatile take on album standout "Duno." The '90s indie comparisons often lobbed at the group proved apt, at least based on period signifiers such as frontman Denny Bowen's slacker attire and mumbled stage banter.

Doubling down on the night's apparent nostalgia kick, Monday's biggest surprise was the rousing set from '60s-indebted garage rockers Shannon And The Clams, whose hook-heavy jams thoroughly impressed. Based out of California, the act was a heretofore unknown quantity to me. In that regard I was apparently in the minority, as seemingly everyone around me and near the stage shouted back every word to the band while gleefully keeping not one but two beach balls aloft throughout the set. Most importantly, though, I felt the floor shake under the sheer force of the crowd's impassioned dancing, as true a sign of a good set as I've ever seen, or, well, felt. -- Dillon Riley

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