Live Review: Porches makes a home of ‘The House’ at Brighton Music Hall


Seamless, Amazon, Spotify: Life in 2018 revolves around not shifting an inch from your couch to have junk food delivered or a customized playlist whipped up in an instant, both of which are perfectly acceptable — nay, cool — to do while wrapped in burrito blanket bliss, Netflix queue on full blast. Introverts have turned the tables on the showboats of the world, which has fared particularly well for those basement-dwellling musicians normally interred in obscurity. But Porches’ Aaron Maine has had enough of it, and the Allston kids amassed in droves to hear him say so.

Celebrating the release of last month’s The House, Maine rolled into Brighton Music Hall on Saturday (February 17), offering a self-fulfilling prophecy to his lead track. An innovator in the bedroom-discotheque world, in the Porches catalogue, the beats bounce back in a homemade funk, and the lyrics lean towards laments; “Leave The House” proves to be a glaring example.

“I just wanna leave the house/Find something to think about/Maybe take a walk around,” he sings on the opening track, and again mid-set in Allston — small steps for one loner, one large step for wallflowers everywhere, and of course, an ironic counterpoint to the more paranoid tune “Find Me,” a wide-eyed “stay-inside” ode to misgivings and apprehension.

Maine’s seen enough of the outside world to have a foothold on the musical power moves of the industry: The Flashdance all-out-on-the-floor pose, the hands-folded-in-prayer over the mic, the uber-macho stadium guitar stance. But for whatever reason he’s still starstruck by the entire ordeal of hosting a sold-out gig, often bashfully stating his disbelief as if he didn’t experience the same showing when he opened for (Sandy) Alex G at the Middle East Downstairs in 2016.

Sans any help from mastering, Porches’ live performance offered vocal hits and misses — maybe more misses than hits, admittedly — but when his entire band made a cohesive move, it slapped, songs like Pool gem “Glow” and 2017 single “Find Me” taking the lead.

But whipping out “Headsgiving,” a pre-Pool ditty sheathed in sadness, said about as much as you need to know about any given Porches show, citing that you too (!) can wake up and not want to die any more; “It has happened before.”

“It’s Saturday, it’s shit outside… let’s all stay inside the venue where it’s safe,” Maine said, alluding to the snow paving Brighton Avenue, some of which still glistened in the blue-haired hipsters mashed against each other indoors. All together, it’s sweaty, it’s damp, and it’s a little miserable. But it’s how you make The House into a home.

Photos by Victoria Wasylak for Vanyaland; follow her on Twitter @VickiWasylak.