Review: Augustines, The Boxer Rebellion @ Bowery Ballroom 9-23-10


Billy McCarthy of Augustines

Here is my not-so-live blog of my concert experience…

8/29:  I hear that Augustines (or musicians formerly known as members of Pela) will be playing in Boston at The Middle East on 9/22. Check calendar. It’s a Wednesday. Think, can I change my work schedule to get to the show? No. Wonder why none of the shows I ever want to see are on the weekend. Mention to my brother in Boston that he should go check out the show.

9/21:  Find out Augustines will be opening for The Boxer Rebellion on Thursday at Bowery Ballroom. Nice! No travel necessary.

9/22 (8:45 pm) My brother sends a picture text to my phone. He’s at the show and I see a picture of Billy McCarthy tuning his guitar.

9/23  (9:25 am) I get the report from last night from my brother. Augustines were good, Amusement Parks on Fire not good. He recommends I stay for the headliner The Boxer Rebellion.

(10:34 am) I hear from Elayna. She wasn’t going to come to the show tonight, but she just watched 20 minutes of Pela videos online. She changed her mind.

(8:50 pm) At Bowery Ballroom. We’re early and there aren’t tons of people there, but that is the benefit of going to a show just to see the opening act.

(9:05 pm) Eric Sanderson and Billy McCarthy (1/2 of Pela) start to play. Both have guitars, both are sitting down. I never thought I would see Billy McCarthy sitting down. This is the man who has been known to break bones during a concert. Ok, maybe the sitting is good. It’s just the two of them. Are they looking for a drummer? Or will this just be a two-man band forever? I miss the drums. They used a drum machine, but that is not the same. Not at all. But Billy’s singing well. Eric’s at the keyboard. They start with “Rise Ye Sunken Ships.” I start to wonder if their new album will be new stuff or the previously recorded Pela songs, which were never released.

(9:20 pm) Billy announces that they are Augustines. That was weird. They look like Pela, they sound like Pela, they’re singing Pela songs. And you’re telling me this is not Pela? I guess they wanted a fresh start after their disappointing break up last September. But I have to say it’s a little weird to hear it come out of Billy’s mouth. And he looked a little uncomfortable when he said it. Maybe I am reading too much into it. He and Eric looked like they were having a good time and happy to be performing again. But I missed the rockin’ out, human water fountain, guitar-playing on-the-floor antics of Pela. They are not meant to be someone’s opening act.

(9:30 pm) Billy gives a shout out to B61. Good local bar in Carroll Gardens.

The do a cover of headlining band’s song “Evacuate.” Then it’s on to good songs off of their soon to be released album. They play “Juarez” and “Chapel Song”. Sounds very similar to the KEXP studio session.  Then they play “Tenement Teeth” (a Pela song from Anytown Graffiti). Did I mention I miss Pela?

(9:40 pm) They’re done. That was it. It was definitely good to see them, but it was like “Pela Lite”.  I hope they get a drummer. They are not meant to play sitting down.

Elayna leaves. I decide to stay to see what The Boxer Rebellion has to offer.

(10:00- 10:45 pm) Amusement Parks on Fire take the stage. Their name reminds me of the band Care Bears on Fire. Though I think this is a band started by a few 10 year old girls in Brooklyn. So, very different.  Not too excited about this music.

(11:00 pm) The Boxer Rebellion starts to play. Lots of lights and echoing high vocals. I can see them playing Madison Square Garden. It’s only a matter of time.

Here’s a live audio sample of the music from Bowery Ballroom last night.

Augustines’ “Chapel Song”


One Response to “Review: Augustines, The Boxer Rebellion @ Bowery Ballroom 9-23-10”

  1. check out the Augustines in-studio performance from

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