Home > Show reviews > Tigers Jaw And Transit Play Late Night Encore Set In Allston

Tigers Jaw And Transit Play Late Night Encore Set In Allston

Tigers Jaw
Transit (Acoustic)
What We Talk About, Allston MA
October 12th, 2012 

Have you ever been to a basement show? I for one have not, but I
can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard someone say they saw a
successful band in someone’s basement before they got big. Whether
these claims are true or not is hard to say, but it’s easy to
understand why these basements shows are often recounted as borderline
religious experiences.

A set played without barriers, security, rules, or even a stage
pretty much removes everything that is bad about live music –
everything that puts the performers both literally and figuratively
above everyone else in the room.  A basement show is all about the
music and the energy it creates, and everything else gets left at

On Friday I got a chance to experience what is about as close as I’m

probably going to get to a basement show. Scranton, PA’s Tigers Jaw had

just played a sold-out show at the Democracy Center in Cambridge
earlier in the night. Apparently, a number of fans had gotten shut out
of the show, and instead of being left out in the cold until the band
made it back to Mass, they told those who had been turned away to
check their Facebook page for details on a second set later that

Sure enough, the band posted plans for a set in Allston, but they only
sent the address to those who posted in a certain thread. With a
little bit of research, I was able to find out the show would be held
at a venue known as “What We Talk About”, which is about a ten minute
walk from my apartment. By this point is was around midnight, but, why

Tigers Jaw

We headed over to the venue, and while the space isn’t technically a
basement, the lack of windows and exposed piping could have fooled
anyone into thinking it was. Tigers Jaw took their spot on the floor
as maybe 40-50 people gathered just a few feet from their mic stands.
I had never actually listened to the band before, and maybe a basement
show isn’t the best introduction considering the sound quality, but I
thought they sounded very good throughout most of the set. The crowd
at the front was very enthusiastic, even if many of them were hearing
these songs for the second time of the night.

Next up was an acoustic set from Stoneham, MA’s Transit featuring lead
singer Joe Boynton and guitarist Tim Landers. According to Boyton, the
band was back home after a recent tour and were looking to play as
many shows as possible. They had jumped on this show last minute after
(apparently) attending the first Tigers Jaw set.

While the crowd had thinned, about 25 people stayed to hear the duo
play about 5-6 songs, all of them from their most recent release
Listen And Forgive, save for “Outbound” from the Stay Home EP. To say
the set was laid back would be an understatement, as Boyton joked
with those at the front, including one fan who accused him of
stealing his hoodie, which Boyton said he had bought at Target for
$20. Clothing jokes aside, the Listen and Forgive tracks continue to
shine in a live setting.
By the time Transit wrapped up their set, it was after 2AM – meaning
both bands had traveled across town to work some serious overtime in
order to make their diehard fans happy. It’s the type of dedication
and sincerity you don’t see from many bands today. It’s also why it’s
easy to imagine everyone in attendance recounting the story of how
they saw Tigers Jaw and Transit in a basement before they got big a
few years down the road. I know I will be.

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