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Concert Review: Jesse Sykes show is sweet

Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter at Great Scott's.
Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter at Great Scott's.

There’s not much better than seeing Jesse Sykes and her band the Sweet Hereafter in a tiny club. Last Thursday they were at Great Scott in Allston, a club I had never been to before and barely knew existed. I must not have been the only one, because the turnout for this show was pretty damn minimal, maybe 100 people. That’s depressing. But no matter the crowd, the show was pretty great.

Jesse had her problems with the sound and while it seemed to effect her mood (she was a bit grumpy), it didn’t effect the music, which was intense. She played a lot from her recent album, “Like, Love, Lust…,” which is filled with snaky, electric guitar licks from Phil Wandscher, who, live, really gives his whammy bar a workout. Sometimes his sound was delicate, sometimes it was roaring. Jesse’s voice is amazing and smoky, and the rest of band lends a hand with supple backing vocals.

The group was augmented by a young pedal steel player, who on the quieter songs added nice touches; on the rocking tunes, he kind of got lost in the mix. The sound was a big problem all night for Jesse. She had trouble with her acoustic; she was constantly asking the sound guy to turn up her vocals. That was kind of too bad. Rumors were also whispered that maybe she and Phil, who are romantically linked, may be having some issues. Hopefully, just rumors… Anyway, a fun night. The openers were Mike Fiore, a singer-guitar player with really nice sound and songs. I’m going to check him out more. And Marissa Nadler, an artsy folk-rocker in the Regina Spektor mode.

For more photos from the night, click HERE.

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