If Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles had been a fraction less entertaining, their opener, the Big Sweet would have stolen the show.
The Big Sweet are four 15-year-old boys from Canton — teenage heartthrobs who sound more like Kings of Leon than Jonas Brothers. Parents and teenage girls filled the Tavern, making it obvious which band drew the crowd.
But Sarah Borges was captivating with her powerful vocals and country-pop songs that contrasted with her punk-rock tattoos, blue eyeshadow and Joan Jett hair. Toward the end of her set, she invited onstage Pete London, a local harmonica player from the band Blue Lunch whom she had met for the first time yesterday. London played along perfectly, turning two of Borges' less-exciting songs into toe-tapping blues numbers.
Borges’ bandmates — drummer Robert Larry Dulaney and guitarist Lyle Brewer — seemed more suited to a Wilco-like band rather than a typical alt-country group, and bassist Binky — with his long, frizzy hair and cheetah headband — looked more like an '80s-rock refugee than someone playing music in the '00s. While none of the band members looked even a bit country, their sound was more twangy than Shania Twain's.
Borges chatted with the audience and gave props to practically everyone they’d met that day — from the Big Sweet's parents to a salesman at Sam Ash.
When she invited the Big Sweet back onstage for her encore, she handed off guitars and cued each of them for solos, which made the adolescent-filled Tavern swoon one last time. —Crystal Pirri; photos by Mark Pirri