Smile Politely

Pollard, No Matter the Surroundings, Continues to Rock

Last Thursday night at the Highdive, Robert Pollard and his new band, Boston Spaceships (“don’t call us ‘THE Boston Spaceships’, even though I sometimes do,” he requested from the stage) blasted through more than two hours of mostly new and some old material, all of which was imbued with his signature sound, full of playfully nonsensical lyrics and tuneful power-pop.

_(Photos by David Cubberly)_

The front rows of the swirling crowd were dominated by hard-core Pollard loyalists, who shouted along with every word of each of the thirty-some songs that Spaceships played, even the ones off their yet-to-be-released second album. Pollard, who didn’t play any guitar on this particular evening (leaving those duties to Tommy Keene and Chris Slusarenko), high-fived the front row between bouts of high-kicks and windmill air-guitar silliness. He serenaded the gathered with mostly material from his post-Guided By Voices solo albums and the new Spaceships songs. In the encore, some GBV material finally surfaced, with “A Salty Salute” and “Tractor Rape Chain” among the highlights.

Detroit’s The High Strung opened, with their retro-rock sound in full effect, surpassed only by their hilarious between-song banter. “That song was called ‘So Dry’,” said drummer Derek Berk after one jaunty number. “It’s about a dry spell…sexually.” Lead singer Josh Malerman chipped in, “We decided to write a song about a topic we know absolutely nothing about.”

All in all, an excellent time was had by all. Your opinions, as always, are welcomed in the comments.

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