Signals Midwest and Boston locals get hype at Great Scott

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Signals Midwest, taken by Tommy Calderon

by Kaylee Johnston

There’s a moment of pause that comes with entering a dive bar on a Wednesday night — the realization of a late night. Yet after entering Great Scott towards the end of sound check on September 21, it was obvious that the night promised something better than sleep.

Born Without Bones opened the show, amping up the crowd the way Warped Tour did in its heyday. Punk met poetry in songs of longing and love, such as “I Was in Love,” complimented by hard rock guitar riffs and drum filler.  Playing songs from their 2010 release Say Hello and 2013 release Baby, Born Without Bones had an unforgettable presence. Each song contained a passion tinged with nostalgia, the crowd lost in memories of bad habits, lost love, and growing older along with the players.    

Next, Depressors made their debut. Despite having never played a live show, they drew in the crowd, sounding like an angelic, more punk-rock version of the Cranberries. The band showcased their chemistry throughout the short set. Front woman Rachel Quarrell’s soft and sultry voice paired with dynamic guitar riffs and a subtle, ever-present bass gave the music a quiet energy. After a successful evening, they’re off to a good start. 

Boston punk veterans Choke Up attracted a crowd of die-hard fans who sang along to every song in their set. Choke Up initiated the night’s punk peak with a harsh, angst-ridden drive that turned simple head-bobbing into headbanging. The drummer shouted out lyrics over the kit, capturing the thrill of the moment. Their set ultimately ended with members of the final band jamming onstage beside them.

After joining Choke Up for their final moments on stage, Signals Midwest ended the night on an angsty yet passionate note. Lead singer Max Stern jumped on the stage and waved to the crowd with a big smile, ready to turn newcomers into long-lasting fans. The Ohio-based band’s brand of pop-punk toed the line between slow and steady and fast and furious, as evident on their latest album, At This Age. Signals Midwest matched the quirkiness of Weezer, with songs that verge on indie, punk, and hard rock, yet flowed together in one cohesive set.  

The night was a true testament to the punk scene that is alive and well in Boston. Look out Seattle, you may be losing your title as the punk capital of the world.

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