Muse, The Muse

You can have Your Sea and Cake and eat It too

It’s always fun to bob your head to club-bangers or mosh with the most brutal scum punks in Allston basements. But there is something really refreshing about seeing a bunch of chill old guys just play. No frills, fireworks or gimmicks.

The Sea and Cake brought their spacey jazz-rock to the Brighton Music Hall Monday, touring behind their new album The Moonlight Butterfly – their ninth studio album since they formed in 1994 in Chicago.

Brighton Music Hall wasn’t overly crowded, but everyone who was there really wanted to be. It wasn’t just a packed show of casual fans, but something much more intimate. There wasn’t a whole lot of fanfare, but that is only fitting for the quiet Chicago foursome.

Sea and Cake played spot-on with veteran precision and grace.  The most impressive part of their live show is drummer John McEntire (also of Tortoise). McEntire makes intricate and beautiful grooves out of relatively simple jazz beats. At one point I thought he was playing with a recorded drum track, only to realize he was making the back beat with rim shots while playing the down beat.

When I first saw the Sea and Cake, I was a little put-off by the bored look of lead singer Sam Prekop. Even last night he barely broke a sweat. I came to realize that their stage presence matches their style; understated and subdued, but confident. Their songs beautifully bled into one another as if movements in a sonata. The highlight of the night was “Exact to Me” from 2007’s Everybody.

Despite being worried about bumping in to the feared Allston arsonist, I walked away from Brighton Music Hall feeling lighter and relaxed thanks to Sam Prekop and crew.


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