Precinct – in Union Square, Somerville, MA
Sunday, September 5th, 2010
BBC Lost Sailor IPA
I rolled up my socks and left for Union Square around 10pm, a quick walk downhill in temperate evening air. I was the first to get there, and the back of the bar was starting to show some life. The show was set to go on any minute. I made that awkward stroll through the whole spot to find potential friends, but instead of finding them I found an excellent place to sit during the entire show – SEA MONSTERS. The Labor Day Weekend let me have my fun for once on a Sunday.
My IPA was cold and delicious, crisp and hoppy. Over the next several sips I began to notice groups come together. Out of nowhere, my old neighbors Adam and Michele showed up, and with smiles and surprise we embraced and talked until my friends showed up. They told me all about the band, and how they only played at PRECINCT on Sunday Nights. Each band member had a side project they worked on professionally, and once a week they showed up to play a show together at this place only.
Their weekend act is a headline hit. People from all walks of life were dancing and jamming to their indie blues rock. The improv work by Christian McNeill, co-founder of the band, was very impressive. The other founding member, Jesse Dee, was not present for the show, which was unfortunate. Even with one front man down, the other players held it down. They had a strong sense of soul, but it was rustic; acoustic guitar and retro-keyboard sounds mixed bits of classic rock and R&B together in a good way.
It was bluesy, and often went on groovy jams that spurred applause and howling when each instrument took a turn in the spotlight. It was not your average garage band event, but a workshop exhibit of the best and brightest group in the area. It was the best eight dollars I had spent in ages.
And they certainly knew how to draw a crowd, too. People local to the area know the story better than I do. Their fame precedes them, and their sound lives up to expectations. They all gave great solos that made me wonder what other shows this bar plays. The under-80, standing-room-only ambience left me satisfied for over two and a half hours. What other greats have come and gone underground in that back room at PRECINCT? It doesn’t really matter; SEA MONSTERS have become iconic figures there, and I don’t expect that to change.