As expected, The Protoculture brought the faithful in droves to last night’s show at O’Leaver’s despite forecasts of snowy doom, a full house of 75 or so were there to see the legends. And the legends did not disappoint, playing six songs off their upcoming 7-song EP — almost the whole catalogue of Protoculture tunes. All except “The Hit,” as I warmly call their b-side single “My New Laugh,” the only Protoculture song with a sing-a-long chorus. Where was it?
They started out nervous and a tad tentative, or so they sounded. By the midway point of their brief set, they were firing on all cylinders. Having never seen them perform before, I had no idea that drummer Koly Walter did most of the singing. He was in good voice, as was co-singer Erica Petersen-Hanton, opening the set with the new material and closing with three songs off the ’97 singles that sounded as modern as anything you’re going to hear on today’s indie charts. The crowd, as you might expect, loved every minute of it. The young lad next to me said this was just the kind of band he would have worshipped had he been kicking around the scene back in the day. I kept turning to him, saying, “They’re gonna play their hit next.” But it never happened. Afterward I mentioned this to Walter, who said rather quizzically? “That song? That’s just a B-side.” Maybe so, but it’s my favorite of their entire oeuvre. Maybe they’ll play it when they open for The Stay Awake and The Bombardment Society at Sokol Underground sometime in April. I’ve waited seven years to hear “My New Laugh” live, I suppose I can wait a few more weeks.
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