Vicious electronic rock translates well onstage
The Econoline Crush show on May 21 was best summed up by lead singer Trevor Hursts comment near the tail end of their set: “You are few but you are mighty!” Indeed, the attendance was low at the Paradise Rock Club, but everyone who showed up was thirsty for Econoline and they were by no means disappointed.
Openers Vibrosoul warmed up the crowd for about a half-hour. They presented a unique collaboration of funk and heavy rock, intermixing syncopated rhythms and riffs with well-placed power chords. The musicians were clearly having a good time (something that’s often missing in concerts today), especially the lead singer, who fed off the audience and flung himself around the stage with the music, delivering some of the vocals from the floor. While they didn’t present anything earth-shaking, Vibrosoul provided decent music accompanied by a ton of energy, preparing everyone for the presence of Econoline Crush.
As Econoline took the stage, it become apparent from the assorted female screams that Hurst’s admirers made up about half the crowd, but from the opening chord of the first song of the band’s set, “Sparkle and Shine”, the band made it clear that they hadn’t just come to pose; they’d come to make intense music. Despite recent lineup changes (a new drummer and the loss of one of two guitarists, reducing the former quintet to four), the performances were near recording quality, with Hurst’s piercing tenor vocals consistently leading the songs.
The evening’s set list included “Wicked”, an older song which has become a live staple, an excellent new song called “You Don’t Know What It’s Like,” and “T. D. M.” a cut off the bands rare debut EP Purge. The concert was clearly dominated by the only Econoline Crush album formally released in the U.S., The Devil You Know. The new album has a faster pace to it then their earlier recordings, and this was evident from the concert which featured every track from TDYK except “Deeper”, one of the slower, more brooding songs, which might have killed the show’s momentum. Highlights of the show included the current single, “All That You Are (x3),” the raging “Surefire”, and the anguish and distorted vocals of “Hollowman.”
A performance at last year’s WBCN River Rave and semi-generous radio airplay apparently haven’t enlisted enough fans to this talented band, who truly put the modern in modern rock and then give their all when they perform it live. That was clear after the band performed their encore, the highly emotional closer to TDYK, “Razorblades and Bandaides”. After thanking the audience, crew, sponsors, and virtually everyone else under the sun, Hurst feigned leaving the stage before leaping back to the mike for a blindingly fast final song, “Burnt.”
Sure, most of the audience knew that it was on the set list and wasn’t an impromptu decision. But between Hurst’s charisma, the strength of the next-to-last song, and the quality of all of the musician’s performances throughout the show, all that the audience could see onstage was a hard-working, caring band giving their crowd one more for the road. Hopefully, next time that crowd will be the size that the band warrants.