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Local Band Crushes: Big D and the Kids Table, Westbound Train and Therefore I Am on The Vans Warped Tour 2009

July 24, 2009

Well rockers, another iteration of The Vans Warped Tour has passed through New England and without fail it proved to be a flurry of music, merchandise and RAIN, again! This year I went to watch, listen and talk to a few of the local bands that have been playing on the Warped Tour, and to ask them what life was like for a Boston band on the tour. I was also pleasantly surprised to witness some awesome shows!

A few of the local ska bands kicking ass on the Warped Tour this year are veterans Big D and the Kids Table (above and left) and newcomers Westbound Train. Big D and the Kids Table have been playing for 13 years now and have been blowing people away all along. The high energy vocals of David McWane and the killer horn section will have you pinned to the barrier railing in seconds! This band brings a level that can only be witnessed. For this year’s tour they’ve added a chorus of pin-up styled background singers that round out the sound and deepen the nature of their genre. You can’t help but love these guys. When asked what it was like to be a band in Boston they described a lot of hard times struggling to make it and the comfortable feeling of playing back in this city. The band’s continued surprise at how people are amazed about them being from Boston, and the pull that this city has, reminds them of how thankful they really are. Check their new album Fluent in Stroll.

Westbound Train (left) is a band of merry men from Boston who have oozed into the reggae/soul/ska music scene this year and make no indication of stopping. Recently signed to HellCat Records with their debut Come and Get It, this band wants to get your full attention with powerful horns, and soothing soulful vocals. I asked them what they thought of being a local band trying to play here and make it and they commented that Boston was a brotherhood, a family. They shared a feeling that it was tough to make it out of Boston, there seemed to be a pull that held you here but if you try hard and work like people do here then you can make it. These guys are another one of the biggest bands in Boston, not just in size but in respect.

Therefore I Am (left) is a Boston band that has been taking the Vans Warped Tour by storm, really. These guys totally surprised me! I always get a kick out of bands with quiet and demure frontmen who go on stage and totally lose it. This was all that and then some. This band is part of the post-hardcore set with a little more bravado. They just released a new CD, The Sound of Human Lives, on Equal Vision Records in June. These guys really bring it. They have a guitar driven nü metal undertone and a great scream laden vocal style that you can actually understand. The crowd goes nuts for these guys and you can immediately see why. Jumping into the crowd from the stage goes frontman Alex, all the while holding the mic right in your face! If you can get through a show without working up a sweat and being totally a fan by the end, let me know and I will get you a New Kids CD. When asked about being a Boston Band and trying to make it, they responded with stories of struggle and concluded that it’s not all that glamorous. You work hard but hey that’s Boston.

An overwhelming impression of how hard it is to make it as a band, not just in general but in Boston is expressed from everyone here. But the one clear thing from everyone is that Boston is the best place to be a band, thanks to the fans, the friends and the brotherhood. If you can make it here in Boston the rest is all gravy. So get out to see a local band play, even if they’re touring on a national platform.

ShawN SixX

P.S.: We’re working on getting you a few podcasts of the interviews, so keep an eye on Boston Band Crush!

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