It's a few hours before the Sheila Divine's free show at the Lansdowne Pub a week ago Thursday, part of WFNX's week-long Disorientation 2010 series. The beloved Boston band, who recently reunited and launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new album, haven't performed in town for years, so it's natural to assume there might be some anxiety about playing in front of the homeliest of homers. Wait, that doesn't sound right. You know what I mean.
I ask wisecracking singer Aaron Perrino what he expects to go down. "I'm expecting dancing, mechanical-bull riding, dueling pianos, fog machines, and Amanda Palmer streaking during our set," he jokes. "Also, Jim [Gilbert] has been working on an amazing bass solo that will make Michael Anthony's look like child's play."
He's sort of right. Gilbert will pull more than a few new and nifty bass runs out of his bag of tricks, even if it doesn't seem he's been polishing his on-stage banter in the intervening years. "Some of my favorite on-stage memories are from those early shows when we weren't worn down by the music industry," he says before they hit the stage. "There was an innocence that I think will shine through tonight."
Innocence might be the perfect way to describe it. When the trio — rounded out by Shawn Sears on drums — do appear, there's a sense of organic spontaneity and appreciation you don't usually associate with long-ago-broken-up bands strapping it on one more time. In fact, from the reaction of the club — packed tits to elbow throughout, screaming along with Perrino — you might not realize the band ever went away. "This is my favorite song," a girl next to me gushes when they kick into "Modern Log," one of the many brutally scorching anthems from their 1999 The New Parade. And over the course of the night, pretty much everyone gets a chance to say that.