Daughters, Big Brave and Container Live at The Sinclair

On the heels of their new release, You Won’t Get What You Want, and a constant flood of emails and ads promoting it, I decided to go to the sold out Daughters show at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on March 12th. On paper this is a band that I would think would be interesting and some of the songs on their albums I found to be just that, interesting. Live, however, I found it to be a much different thing, at least for me, but definitely not for the hundreds in attendance who clearly had a good time.

As the venue slowly filled with flannels and baseball caps the first up was Container, an electronic artist from Providence I had never heard of but enjoyed thoroughly from start to finish. As with many acts like this, there was not much to see, just a guy at the front of the stage tweaking knobs and effects pedals on a clothed table looking very focused on what he was doing and the sounds he was manipulating. Even without anything to watch like a light show to go along with the music changes I was planted in my spot at the front of the stage for the entire set.

Next up was Big Brave, another band I had never heard of, from Montreal. They started off pretty strong with a sort of experimental heavy folk vibe with some heavier drone like aspects mixed in and the first couple of tunes, they had me, but by the end of the set, I found it getting a bit repetitive. Maybe just a change in the songs in their setlist would have helped because like I said the first couple of songs were really good. Don’t get me wrong, the sound was good, they weren’t off-key or anything like that, I simply found the beginning of the set more interesting than the end.

The crowd was very tame for the whole show until the instant Daughters started. Mostly it was just a hard squish against bodies up front but there was some sort of a pit at some point which I didn’t understand. For me, their music doesn’t evoke “Hey let’s start a pit and throw ourselves around.” I consider them just a slightly heavy experimental band, but I don’t see why anyone would do anything but stomp their feet a bit and bob their heads for them. Ok crowd surf, fine, I mean people crowd surf if given the chance for pretty much anything these days. Really it just ended up a lot of people pushing and squishing each other and I’m sorry but it just was silly and out of place. The fans seemed to enjoy it so maybe who am I to judge right? No, it was silly.

Back to the band. I have never seen them but heard stories that it would be “insane” and that the singer was very unpredictable. Well, I didn’t see any of that. He gently crowd surfed for a minute a couple of times, half wrapped his head with the mic cord and leaned into the front row so the crowd could touch his head. Ok…. I mean the whole band hopped around on stage, the singer dances around a lot and almost constantly swings the microphone over his head smacking it on the floor and on his body but “insane” did not come to mind. Maybe the people who explained the show to me have not really attended many punk and metal shows in their lifetime but I can’t be sure. It was fine just not as described. To be honest, I have no romantic notion of this band and have never really followed them but if you have, then I’m sure you would have had a great time, most did. For me, the live experience didn’t match the recorded one.

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY HILLARIE JASON