Great Scott opened its doors to a cluster of people who were definitely tired of this goddamned weather, and it showed, thanks to the down coats piled and stuffed on one of the window sills. The coat rack was full. That Noble Fury brought a welcome fervor along with their guests Jon Menard and Sunshine Riot to the crowd that night.
I’m sorry to say that I missed Jon’s set, but arrived in time to hear Sunshine Riot’s sound check before they launched into their opening song. Singer Johnny Orton prefaced it by saying, “This song’s about a real shitty place—it’s called ‘Providence’.” The outlaw country tinged “This is a Raid” followed.
Sunshine Riot had in their performance an interesting blend of rock and blues and hints of alt-country and boy, could they nail all of those genres. Before launching into “Interstate”, a sturdy and rousing road song that showcased the band’s knack for Americana, Orton said they’ve played all around the country. But Boston is their musical hometown. That fact reflected in Sunshine Riot’s stage presence, a wild and punk audacity that infected the room. One of the craziest aspects of their performance came from Jeffrey Sullivan’s maneuvering of his fretless bass, which elicited a song-like quality from the instrument.