Rock & Pop, Seasonal Special Happenings

Bad Veins/Runaway Brother/Bare Walls

When: Fri., Jan. 31, 9 p.m. 2014

Runaway Brother, the middle band on tonight's bill, are a homegrown emo band — for clarification, that's emo in the Sunny Day Real Estate and basement show sense, not the Fall Out Boy and Hot Topic variety — that does things big. They manage to cram a lot into their mostly three-minute songs: punchy hooks, layered vocal harmonies, speedy drum kicks and even the odd synth line. With a wide range of excellent guitar work, courtesy of the band's three guitarists (the band itself is big!), the group delivers huge distorted chords, gentle acoustic strumming and Cap'n Jazz-ian leads. Runaway Brother displays a rare combination of technical ability and taste. And they're no studio charlatans. Live, they hit every hard stop and breakdown in their energetic sets perfectly. As the genre suggests, they've got big feelings too: their lyrics largely revolve around such intangibles as nostalgia, disappointment and never-ending effort to stay positive. Thankfully for both listeners and Runaway B themselves, they have a sense of humor about it. Lines like "you trashy piece of trash" and "I never am alone/ I always have my phone" suggest tears occasionally come with laughs for the young band. (James Helmsworth)

Price: $8

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