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“Boston’s my favorite city to come to,” said Marlana Sheetz of LA-based band, Milo Greene. Fellow band mate Graham Fink nodded: “She’s not kidding. She really loves clam chowder,” he added, laughing, before launching into their first song of the night.
This show at The Sinclair marked the first tour date of Milo Greene’s second US tour in 6 months – bringing a whole new level of excitement to the entire show. Opening for them was the local Boston band, Parks, and Savoir Adore, who hail from Brooklyn, New York. Parks arrived promptly on stage at 9 pm, and played an upbeat seven song set, containing numbers from their first album, and as well as from an upcoming release. As the crowds filed in somewhat ambivalently, holding drinks and searching for a place to stand, Parks immediately drew the audience towards the stage. They had a nerdy charm that was intriguing – most of them sported wide rimmed glasses and button downs. During a lull between songs, lead singer and guitarist Brian King described one of their songs as being, “about sex. But it’s mixed in with literary metaphors so it’s okay.”
Next was Savoir Adore, a self-named “fantasy rock” duo. Joined on stage with an additional back-up group of three performers, each member was dressed completely in white, save for lead singer Deirdre Muro’s black leggings. Dress, however, was just one aspect of Savoir Adore’s stage presence. The band also used The Sinclair’s extensive lighting system to their advantage, as well as synchronized dance moves. Both opening acts had considerably different sounds from Milo Greene, which provided engaging variety in a night containing nearly three hours of music.
The five members of Milo Greene finally approached the stage a little before the clock struck 11 pm. All five entered as “Moddison”, an instrumental from their eponymous album, played in the background. Band member Robbie Arnett brought the group into their first song, “Take a Step”, to which the audience responded immediately with cheers and whoops all over. The song then swung over to Marlana Sheetz, whose vocal solo immediately made heads turn towards the right side of the stage where she stood behind the keyboard. She continued to attract attention all night, sometimes handling a bass, shaker, tambourine, and keyboard all while singing backup, and sometimes even lead.
A key component to the functioning of Milo Greene as an entity is the diplomatic nature of the band. Rather than designating any one lead singer, Milo Greene functions off of each member’s musical talents, and often gets its strength from the collaborative harmonies weaved throughout the songs and their songwriting process. This show was no exception: it seemed as if every song saw a switch in who-was-playing-what, with the exception of Curtis Marrero, who stayed comfortably behind his raised drum-set -throne the entire night. By the fourth song, “Take a Step”, Sheetz was center stage on bass, while Andrew Heringer conjured a banjo seemingly out of nowhere. As the switch occurred, the band made sure to work the entire stage and took the opportunity to rock out with loud and intense instrumentals. When everyone was ready, Heringer stepped to the very edge of the stage and screamed out the count, adding to the intensity of the night.
Milo Greene’s self-titled album is notably mellow; the lyrics, melancholy. However, as the night continued, both band and audience became more and more impassioned, each feeding off the other’s energy. By the middle of the set, the band took the opportunity to play “Staging Point”, a new number they began performing just recently. This song best showcased the band’s rapport, with their strong harmonies – a signature of the band’s sound. As the energy continued, Heringer, along with band mate Arnett, engaged in a battle as they both shredded their electric guitars while jumping around each other. Driving the energy behind it all was Marrero’s relentless thumping kick drum. The audience responded with cheering and screaming, egging the band on even further.
After an emphatic finish to this number, the band took the opportunity to rest and thank their tour manager, Jerry, for all of his hard work. The band, and all of their belongings had recently been in LA, so Jerry had driven the entire trailer from LA to Boston all by himself in just a few days. Heringer repeated the call he got from his manager one night: “I got a call from Jerry while we were here. He just said, ‘I just want you to know that I am okay. And the van is okay. And all of your stuff is okay. But the trailer flipped on its side.’” At this the audience laughed, as did the band. Thankfully, all of their equipment arrived on time for the tour, in tact, for which the band thanked Jerry’s heroic efforts and had the audience give him a round of applause.
After a few more songs, the show was over, the band concluding with their popular single, “1957”. However, it did not take long for the audience’s cheering to call the band back on stage for an encore, which they kicked off with a cover of Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago” that featured Heringer’s vocals and guitar. Next was “Perfectly Aligned” which, though lyrically simple, allowed for the band to execute a long instrumental sequence and exit with the amps still ringing full of sound.
The energy hummed throughout the venue, even as people started filing toward the exits. The energy directed itself toward the merchandise tables, where the band mingled with fans and furiously sold the majority of their stock. After the concert, the official band Twitter tweeted: “And that’s how you start a tour. #Boston #youdabest.”