On Wednesday, Feb. 3, Jillian Santella’s entertainment blog One In A Million Media put on Kem Pa Sote, a benefit for Partners in Health, a Boston-based Haitian relief program. The show boasted several well-known local bands and DJs.
The night started off with the band Aloud, which is currently recording its third album. The Boston-based band sounds like a watered-down version of Tilly and the Wall, but without the quirky and entertaining tap-dancing. The band is fronted by Henry Beguiristain and Jen de la Osa, whose vocal trade-offs sound like a weak attempt at Americana. Their train wreck of a set consisted of songs mostly from their sophomore effort Fan The Fury. They seemed to be having fun, but the few people who were there stood stock-still. At least their rhythm section was passable.
With nowhere to go but up, Aloud was followed by another Boston-based band, The Lights Out. Unfortunately, it sounds like its name implies: unoriginal, as if they formed a band to make generic rock for truck commercials. The lead singer tapped into some Scott Stapp vibrato while pulling the “rock-on” sign between guitar licks. If nothing else, The Lights Out was very tight and had a lot of energy. The guitarist jumped off the stage at one point and played in the growing crowd to the delight of at least a few people.
Relief finally came in the form of Pretty &’ Nice, a local act worth watching. Its idiosyncratic pop-rock never ceases to amaze with its precision and imagination. Despite playing a somewhat calm show by Pretty &’ Nice standards, the band was still nothing less than gloriously manic. Its set drew heavily from its latest record, Get Young, including fan favorite “Tora Tora Tora” and slower ballad “Peekaboo.” One of the band’s most captivating features is the way it plays with tempo: frequent stops, breakdowns and sharp bursts of double-time keep you glued to the stage. They were definitely the highlight of the night.
The show ended with the always-lovely You Can Be A Wesley, which sauntered through its set with characteristic nonchalance. The band plays surf-rock east-coast style: rocky, cold and a little sad. Lead singer Saara mesmerized the audience with her sweetly melancholy voice. The group mostly played songs from their newest album, Heard Like Us. The gem of the set was the song “Creatures,” which, complete with Joy Division guitar riffs and a giant sing-along chorus, is always a crowd pleaser.