Photos and words by Luke Maley and Ali Oshinskie.
The Space in Hamden is the farthest thing from a huge music hall. Instead, it offers a more cozy atmosphere imparting a sense of intimacy. It almost feels like your best friend’s basement, with Christmas lights hanging from the low ceiling and mysteriously procured decor. Case and point – they had a golden opera mask on display in a tube of PVC pipe because, why not? All of this helped craft a relaxed and warm atmosphere for Yuck, Saintseneca, and Little Scream on Thursday, April 14.
The night started with Montreal based folk-pop outfit, Little Scream, taking the stage. The band was a ragtag group, fronted by the lead singer Laurel Sprengelmeyer, clad in a bedazzled jacket and sporting messy hair. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by their folky brand of indie pop complete with jangly guitar riffs and bouncy melodies. Though it seemed like the majority of the crowd wasn’t familiar with them, this didn’t discourage the band. They performed a tenacious set, Sprengelmeyer providing the most energy faithfully backed by her introverted band. She seemed ecstatic just to be playing music at all, and of course, to be delivering her passionate, crooning vocals to an attentive crowd.
After a quick set change, the Ohio based quartet Saintseneca began their set. When I saw Saintseneca over the summer they gave off this “too cool” vibe (which isn’t rare for a hipster band) but this time, the energy was markedly different. The frontman, and only remaining original member, Zac Little, delivered his typically reserved stage banter with a relaxed air. Despite the fact that they had recently gone through a lineup change, their sound was tight, with confident guitar lines, and well-adjusted dynamics. They started with gentle harmonies that eventually crescendoed to get the entire crowd swaying. This shift from soft to loud is a trademark of Saintseneca’s music which worked well in The Space and certainly pulled out faithful, lyric-savvy fans.
Yuck stood in stark contrast by quickly changing the energy with their hit single “Get Away” from their self-titled album. The audience decreased to a decidedly dedicated group of lyric-loving fans. Their brand of effervescent fuzz-pop give a 1993 feel; it’s Pavement and Dinosaur Jr in 2016. Granted half the crowd wasn’t even born until the late 90s, so how could they know? But still, Yuck’s noisy tunes pleased this crowd. The London-based band had a diverse stage dynamic with their friendly lead Max Bloom, the immeasurably chill bassist Mariko Doi, the confident lead guitar Ed Hayes, and the unflappable drummer Jonny Rogoff. They played songs both new and old, including songs off of their new album “Stranger Things” which came out earlier this year. After a 45 minute set, they concluded, leaving the crowd satisfied and ultimately thankful that the band had made the trek to Connecticut all the way from England.
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