Carissa Johnson at UnchARTed Art Gallery Lowell – 2/17/18
▣UnchARTed Art Gallery | Lowell, MA ▣Saturday, February 17th 2017
The local music scene is littered with bands of all genres and you never know quite what you’re signing up for until the bands start playing. A few locals always deliver though, and I caught up with a handful of them in Lowell last Saturday night to watch them skillfully share their craft with a large crowd of old and new fans alike.
A relatively unknown name to me opened the show. Vanessa Silberman had been on tour with the headliner of the show, Carissa Johnson, throughout the country for the past few months. After a little research, I’ve found she’s a pretty accomplished artist and has played well over 400 shows cross country in the past two years. Tonight, she stood solo with an electric guitar on a clean channel and sang. The west coast grunge influence was evident in her voice though I personally wish she had a full band backing her for the set. Carissa’s band did join her for a song at the end and I feel like her full potential was realized. I’d see her again with a full band if I got the chance.
The next band really blew me away. I knew they existed because I met them when I filmed a music video for the co-headliners, but I’d never had the pleasure. Circus Trees is 3 sisters in their early teens and they pack a punch most 3 pieces couldn’t pull off. Effect-laden and well thought out, the music is haunting and reminiscent of old pumpkins jams. The girls are planning on hitting the studio and recording a song with Carissa this month. I’d be very interested in seeing what this band does in the future.
I’d seen this next band at a Halloween show last year. Alex, the vocalist, was on bass and I honestly don’t remember jamming too much during the set. Fast forward to now and Ben (a college student majoring in bass performance) covers the low end and Alex is free to really shine as only Steven Tyler can. Sons Lunaris left a solid impression on me this time with a high energy performance which at one point had every single head in the place bobbing. I’ve personally seen what a solid groove adds to this band and am very excited to see what the future holds for them.
The ladies in Flight of Fire are no mystery to me nor should they be to you. 3 Berkeley grads and one of the best drummers I know comprise the Boston based all-female rock band. Their songs range from the heavy opener, 10K Voices, to the mostly acoustic My Last Gamble which features all four ladies singing and a drum passage played by hand locked twins Tanya and Tia (See the pics below). They are better than solid musicians, fun to watch, and dedicated to living the “Rockstar Life”. If you’ve never had the pleasure, remedy that at your earliest convenience.
Headliner Carissa Johnson is an underground Boston legend. Starting her career playing in some local bands, she eventually stepped out on her own becoming the recipient of a handful of local nominations and awards. The show tonight was the tail end of a grassroots DIY US tour and the local scene got the memo well in advance because they showed up in full force to support her and the other acts. Carissa’s band has an upbeat post-punk vibe in both music and presence and is fun to watch. Hop onto the old Facebook and hunt down one of her upcoming shows. You won’t be disappointed.
I’d highly recommend checking out any of these bands if you got a chance. You’ll find most of these bands play more than a couple times a month and usually at venues that require little to no cover. It’s easier than ever to show up and support local talent. Let us know when you get out to see them and tell us what you think!
Review & Photos: Anthony Coy
Check out the band’s websites for more info!
Flight Of Fire
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