Parks Live at The Sinclair

By: Jules Wang

“Your home for music discovery!” It’s our motto here. But if you want to discover new music from us, we have to discover it first. It’s the case for one of our local favorites, Parks. And if you’ve supported the station this past Live Music Week, you might have met these chaps at our Halloween bash at Harpoon Brewery. Well, we decided to check in with the crew’s first gig of 2015.

This performance was mostly a showcase of their upcoming album which has been crowdfunded and as of press time, no set release date has been mentioned. Only two songs have been released as singles prior to the concert, the rest were introduced unnamed. They played The Sinclair alongside Cask Mouse, Tallahassee and Hallelujah the Hills on January 11th.

Parks was second in the solid lineup for the night and it took a little warming up for the crowd post-intermission. They ramped up with a slow driver called “Summer of ‘94.”

Brian had solid singing and his young vocals held true to melody.

Liz, who’s usually on keyboard, sang the next one, “I Don’t Want to Know You,” and she has a strong voice--imagine Rosie the Riveter singing it. Or, for more contemporary people, Rachel Price of Lake Street Dive, but less folksy and more soul.

Parks threw in “She’s Not Me,” a lovely Rilo Kiley bit, and then played one of their released singles, the rather fun sockhopper, “Sweater Weather.”

The second Brian rounds some great drums, and Matt had very reliable backing guitar, but it would have been a pretty clean performance if Matt were by himself.

Solos inserted throughout from Stu were quite impressive for a first listen. He had his best rides down toward the end of the performance.

The closer you were to the stage, the farther along the set went, the more thumpin’ happened in the crowd. Over the course of 45 minutes and 10 songs, the front row became engulfed in foolish dance moves. It didn’t help that the last song was called “Fools.”

The songs weren’t necessarily dancier than the early ones, but you could tell that even the audience in the mezzanine was just getting into it. I even went upstairs to check.

For a show of four bands and some competitive friendly fire, to be heard and then to be listened to is crucial to growing your band’s audience. Parks pulled off something especially risky by playing new stuff without a full release. It used to be tougher without the internet. However, in the post-modern age of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and, in this case, PledgeMusic, you can have all the handicaps of being a debutante on the scene, but still make your mark.

They’ve been able to cultivate a literally-invested audience and have not only been able to please them with this teaser of a concert, but introduce their material to a new audience at the same time. It’s not exactly a walk in the Parks, but hey, they had a hell of a night on Church Street.


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