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The Upper Crust, Sidewalk Driver, When Particles Collide, The Courtesy Tier

APR 1, 2017


The Upper Crust, Sidewalk Driver, When Particles Collide, The Courtesy Tier

Local Boston bands haven't had the opportunity to perform in downtown Boston venues for decades. ArtsEmerson’s Black Box Sounds concert series transforms a black box theatre into a pop-up music venue to bring the best area bands and performers back to the heart of our city. Black Box full-bar is open for service throughout the concert.

The Upper Crust

The Upper Crust, founded in 1994, have survived and thrived through over two decades of rock and roll, emerging stronger and more creative with a new record in the works scheduled for release in April of 2017. They are a hard rock band that dresses in costume as noblemen of the 18th Century, wearing knee breeches and powdered wigs, and somewhat anomalous platform shoes with buckles that express their attachment to the glam and hard rock of the 70’s. Their music is bold, hard and well written, reflecting creative contributions from all members, who go by the names of Jackie Kickassis, the Lord Bendover, Count Bassie, and the Duc d’Istortion. The songs thus far released on five albums remain classics of modern rock; the forthcoming album is expected to be stronger still. They are renowned for titles like “Let Them Eat Rock,” “Tell Mother I’m Home,” “Rabble Rouser,” and “High Falutin’’. But it’s not a history or civics lesson, it’s exciting hard rock—rock that can be appreciated as either head-banging, comedic or, if you like, more fancy-pants intellectual. It’s good-time Rocque and Roll, not to be overthunk. Come as you are.

YouTube: "We're Finished with Finishing School"

Sidewalk Driver

Sidewalk Driver is high-energy, highly-infectious, hook-driven, Rock with a capital ‘R.’ The sound is modern but the heart of the band seems to be more in line with 1970s rock culture… the Bowies and the Belushis of the world. Lead singer Tad McKitterick’s voice has power and clarity, is expressive without falling off the pitch and is forceful without losing subtle moments. Guitarists Kate Murdoch and Jared Egan seamlessly weave crunchy rhythms with soaring solos while bassist Jonn Smith and drummer A.J. Locke hold down the bottom end. The songs always come with some odd bent but not one that repels; rather, they welcome you to join in the celebration like a carnival barker hyping a freak show.

YouTube: "Karaoke Guy (Monday Night)"

When Particles Collide

The music of When Particles Collide includes Southern Rock choruses, New Wave a la Blondie vocals, lightning speed Green Day-esque drumming, classic Motown grooves and Queens of the Stone Age-style riffs — and yet somehow it all sounds like Chris and Sasha.

YouTube: "Fight"

The Courtesy Tier

Courtesy Tier is a three piece rock band from New York City. Rebel Blues, Vintage Rock, Hard Bop, Nineties & Soul fuse with towering 3 part harmonies to create a restless noise, served in twilight, with the grit and spirit of their NYC forbearers (Lou Reed, Suicide, Mingus, Patti Smith, Run DMC, Talking Heads, Ramones).

YouTube: "Little Rock"