I was begrudgingly dragged to a show Saturday night. That isn’t something I’d normally admit, but here we are. See, things aren’t ok. Like, at all. The good news, I guess, is that friends have a way of picking up on that. So, instead of my regularly scheduled program of crying in the bath and skipping dinner, I got dressed and remembered how to put eyeliner on, since it’d been a while. Imagine seeing me without my winged eyeliner…freaky. Soon, my chariot arrived to take me to Westbrook. I’m perfectly capable of driving, but there’s no getting out of it when a ride is on the way. Off to the 212 we went.
You know what? I’m glad it played out that way. It was comforting to see a bunch of familiar faces that I haven’t seen in many, many months. Plus, the music was really, really good. Top notch, straight outta Maine, music. It was my second time seeing Division/North (Biddeford), and how did I not remember how fucking good they were from the first time? This band is fairly new, but you couldn’t tell. Drummer Dan Aldrich, also of Burning Time, has been jamming with guitarist Justin Patry for years, and the chemistry isn’t hard to see. Their music is modern, melodic rock, and something I didn’t even know I needed until I suddenly needed it. Can we get these guys on a show with Re:Vision? Kthx.
Next was Objet. Jesus tapdancing Christ on a cracker, these guys are just so, so talented. I’m telling you, if you haven’t seen these guys live yet, you need to. I honestly don’t know how to put into words how tight and technical their hard rock/verging on metal is. The time changes alone will make you tilt your head like one of those dogs with the smooshed faces that breathe funny. There was a guy there who has Objet’s album, “Inanimate”, (which was recorded and mixed at The Halo by Jonathan Wyman and mastered by multi grammy-winner Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering. So yeah, high quality Maine made shit) who knew every word to every song, but had never seen them live. His expression was fucking priceless, and he uttered a single, powerful “wow”. Yeah, buddy. I know. Welcome to the “I Just Saw Objet And Consequently Shit My Pants” club.
And what can I say about Sygnal To Noise? That I love them? Actually, you know what? That’s very extremely true. This isn’t the Sygnal that you’re used to. The roster has changed many times over the past few months, and for someone like me who doesn’t adapt well to change, I braced myself…
They were FUCKING AMAZING. Front man, Coopa, has held down the fort and recruited some badass talent to replenish and revive this incredibly fun, talented, Maine rock ‘n roll machine. The new iteration of Sygnal To Noise is a 4-piece, featuring founder, lead vocalist and now back-to-guitar Coopa, bassist Greg Burns-Jackson, drummer Nick Coffin, and guitar god Joey Nash.
I was checking my phone outside, unaware that soundcheck was over, when I heard a familiar riff being played. It couldn’t be. Is it? Holy shit, they are playing “Without Color” from their debut album of the same name. What??? I’ve been wanting to hear this song live for about a year and a half. It describes what goes on in my head every single day, and I never thought I would see it performed live. I bolted inside and made my way to the front of the stage, and let the tears stream as I sang every word. This was actually happening. They played some songs from their newest album, “Horns High” and a few from “Under Construction”. Then they played “Again” from their first album. ANOTHER song I was convinced I’d never see live. Coopa traded the mic for the bass, and Burns-Jackson sang the lyrics beautifully, doing the song proper justice. Guess who cried again? This new Sygnal has my approval, 100%.
Headlining the night was Beyond The Fall, legends in Maine at this point. I think the last time I saw Matt Fournier and crew was St. Patrick’s Day, 2017. Fairly certain. It had been a long time, and I was so happy to hear these guys again. The musicianship is something that never leaves you wanting when you see BTF. Also, Matt Fournier has one of the best voices in Maine music. And the drummer…
Everyone wants Tony Cortez in their band, and if they are a drummer, they want to be Tony Cortez. Dan Paulsen, drummer for Objet joked, “If I die, please get Tony Cortez to replace me. Don’t like, kick me out of the band or anything, but if I died…” Hahaha! Tony is an excellent drummer, this is true, and you just have to see for yourself. Beyond The Fall as a whole are incredible. Also, Dan, don’t die.
It was one hell of a night. My sadness came in waves, but I do remember at one point during the night, standing in the crowd and feeling the energy and nostalgia wash over me. My eyes got misty and I smiled a slow smile. It was a brief moment of contentment as I remembered who I was, and who I’m looking to regain.
To the Maine music scene, thank you for the reminder.