American Hi-Fi Live at The Middle East

American Hi-Fi Live at The Middle East
Boston, MA  
I assume American Hi-Fi have fallen off their fan’s radar over the last few years and judging upon the fact that they are booked to play the almost-200-person capacity Middle East upstairs, these suspicions are near valid. However, upon walking into a completely packed house, amazement washes over me. At 10:30PM Stacy Jones and company walk on stage, plug in and completely annihilate the die hards with enough volume and energy to rattle the vodka bottles off the bar shelf. After opening with “Surround” from their self-titled debut, Stacy graciously thanks the crowd, says they are happy to be back home in Boston and confidently states that American Hi-Fi is back! With that, the quartet plunges into power pop favorites such as “Teenage Alien Nation, Hi-Fi Killer and Another Perfect Day.” The main purpose for this randomly scheduled evening is for the band to introduce a handful of new songs from their forthcoming album, including “Keep it like a Secret, Fight the Frequency, Lost and Acetate.” Surprisingly, there are not many people wandering off to the restrooms during this block of newbies as it is all rather impressive material. Of course, the band save the best gems for last. Those being “Flavor of the Weak” and “The Art of Losing” from the album of the same name. Oddly enough, most songs off of ***Hearts on Parade*** are untouched with the exception of “Geeks get the Girls”, which is requested by the back-up dancers from the Miley Cyrus tour (Stacy Jones toured as the drummer on the Miley Cyrus tour) who happen to be in town and in attendance tonight. The set is tight and very focused and with the exception of some engaging banter with the crowd, the music is the priority and it’s clear that the band is running on all four cylinders once again. Concluding with “Wall of Sound” the song finishes with an incredible three minute jam session in which bassist Drew Parsons, guitarist Jamie Arentzen, guitarist Stacy Jones and the now back-in-the-fold drummer Brian Nolan, give 110 percent of their energy in giving the fans their money’s worth. Before completely coming to a close, the band comes back to wrap up the evening with the classic Cheap Trick cover “Surrender.” It’s nice to see the former drummer for Letters to Cleo singing, playing guitar and keeping his vision of good time rock ‘n’ roll alive and well for over a decade now. (Rob Watts)



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