By Isabella Dionne
The Middle East Downstairs filled up fast on Thursday night for Against the Current and touring guests Beach Weather and CRUISR. When a production setback caused the postponement of shows in New York and Philadelphia, Boston became the first city on the U.S. leg of the In Our Bones World Tour.
The night began with singer-songwriter and New England native M.B. Padfield, who performed a brief but impressive mix of covers and originals. Padfield’s talents cover a lot of ground, with her set including everything from Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” to a country-tinged original called “The Cat Song.” Padfield, whose singles “Full Throttle Baby” and “A Beast” are available on various streaming platforms, plays shows frequently all over the Greater Boston area.
After performing less than a month ago at Berklee’s Red Room @ Cafe 939, indie alternative band Beach Weather returned to Boston as the second act of Thursday’s lineup. The three-piece group, led by Braintree native Nick Santino, played a combination of older songs like “Rebel Sun” and “Swoon” from their 2015 EP, What a Drag, as well as songs from their newest EP, Chit Chat, released on November 4. Highlights of the group’s performance included the smooth and sultry “Home Movies” and the ‘80s synthpop-inspired “Goddess.”
Indie pop group CRUISR took the stage third. Having lost their founding bassist earlier this year, the trio added bassist Paul Impellizeri of the indie group Cheerleader to play with them for this tour. Despite this last-minute addition, the group played a fun and lively set to the cheering crowd at the Middle East. Included in the band’s set was their newest single, “No Shade,” and songs from their two EPs, 2014’s All Over and 2015’s Go for It.
Against the Current entered to a neon-lit stage and roaring cheers from a full crowd. While the young band has played in Boston several times in the past, this was the group’s first visit since releasing their debut album, In Our Bones, on May 20. From their first song, “Runaway,” the band hit the ground running and never stopped. Self-described as having no true genre, Against the Current’s live style takes the grit of rock and the excitement of pop to create a seamless set appealing to a wide range of fans.
Lead singer Chrissy Constanza’s vocal talent could be likened to contemporaries Hayley Williams or Lynn Gunn—capable of fiery strength in songs like “Wasteland” and “Blood Like Gasoline” as well as a polished softness in songs like “In Our Bones.” The band’s boundless energy makes them captivating to watch, and their set, which included songs from In Our Bones, their 2015 EP Gravity, and a cover of My Chemical Romance’s “Teenagers,” seemed to end all too soon for an audience that could have listened for hours more. The group returned for an encore beginning with “Dreaming Alone,” ending the night with “Gravity.”
With only one full-length album out, Against the Current has already caught the eye of fans and critics alike, growing a steady fanbase over U.S. and world tours alike. Expect big things from them in the future.