Porches Take Somerville to The House
by Erin Christie
As I pulled up to the venue on the night of October 25th, the marquee read A Star is Born. Slightly above that, “On Stage: Girlpool & Porches.” The Somerville Theatre is intricately laced with marble sidings and stocked with plush, red seats positioned in front of a large stage where, typically, a screen would span from floor to ceiling. Tonight, though, it housed a concert of epic proportions.
Coined as an “indie kid’s dream,” this tour meshes LA babies, Girlpool, with the amazing powers of Porches and Palberta. It goes without saying that the lineup that night was a godsend. However, there was one act that I was particularly excited to see: as I entered the packed room, my heart walked a tightrope at the thought that I was to be graced by the presence of Aaron Maine and the rest of Porches gang.
Initially conceived by New York local Aaron Maine, Porches has ascended to “synth-pop” cool over the years, having done a short stint with Julian Casablancas’ band, The Voidz this past summer (where I had the honor of seeing them live for the first time). Accompanied by Seiya Jewel (keyboard), Maya Laner (bass, vocals, synth), Dan English (guitar), and Noah Hecht (drums), Maine leads with grace and together, they’re powerful beyond comparison.
Currently stationed out of the “big ass appl” (New York City, NY), Porches have made a name for themselves as one of the frontrunners of the current indie rock spectrum. Despite the comparisons made, though, it is clear that Porches is a group in their own category, one not to be fiddled or messed with.
Earlier this year, Porches released their third studio LP, The House. In many ways, artists use their craft as a means to work through their own experiences, express their emotions in intimate detail. This record is very much a personal piece that explores self-image and soul-searching amidst social pressures and longing to belong. This record, though different in tone than 2016’s Pool still draws back on elements that made audiences love Porches to begin with: their fearlessness to stray from convention and experiment.
“Find Me,” for example, is reminiscent of a club hit, though its lyrics are tinged with anxious energy. “I think I’ll stay inside/ If you don’t think they’d mind,” Maine croons, then launching into a tale that describes his constant trials, running away from something that is never truly defined. Is “it” his nerves? Past mistakes? Paranoia? The punching beat, similar to that of a racing heartbeat, is entrancing, providing the inspiration to get up and dance the nerves that might plague us away.
Known for hip-swaying rhythmic synths, dreamy guitars, and Maine’s deep lull, live, Porches is a dream. That teeny theatre out in semi-suburban Massachusetts housed a palpable energy as they performed, resulting in something truly beautiful. Though the theatre was front-to-back assigned seating, as soon as Porches took the stage, everyone quickly migrated forward, abandoning their seats and filling in every gap of floor possible. Perched on the corner of the platform, a group of young women in the audience swayed back and forth, drinks in hand and glee in their hearts as Maine belted out another stunner of a track. The entire set was accompanied by riotous applause and screams of approval.
After they finished, the general manager reminded everyone that this wasn’t a general admission show and that we were to remain in the seats that matched our ticket stubs. I was glad he didn’t interrupt us whilst they were performing.