Photos by Jon Ching
Playing for a sold-out audience, The Soft White Sixties matched the Chapel’s rabid energy at their Noise Pop show on Friday, February 28. The four-piece outfit walked on stage smiling and exuding the infectious live energy they have come to be known for, as bassist Ryan Noble held up a six pack of PRB tall boys that he slowly dispersed into the crowd.
Opening their headlining set with “When This All Started,” the lead-in track of their 2011 eponymous debut EP, the band welcomed the audience with a familiar slow burning intro. Brandishing a tambourine, lead singer Octavio Genera led the entire venue with ardent vocals and attitude-dripping dance moves. Dressed in all black, he shuffled across the stage to his own manic tempos, his red sock-white shoes combination accentuating each romping motion.
Within one full riff of “City Lights,” the Sixties had the audience grooving and clapping along with its driving rhythm section, as Aaron Eisenberg’s guitar flourishes and the lyrics “I’m just having a good time” swirled in the air, encapsulating the electric energy of Friday night.
After the “Whoa-no-no-no” sing-a-long moments of “I Am,” the band invited a stand-up bassist and violinist for “You Are Gold.” Filling out the soundspace, the string section added deeper layers and accents to the group’s classic R&B roots. Octavio’s funky moves amplified as his band blended “Treat Me” into a chugging version of T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution,” appeasing the already frenetic crowd and proving The Soft White Sixties are at their best not when their lead singer is behind a guitar, but when he’s focusing his full energy on serving as the ring leader, wielding nothing more than a mic and tambourine.
The Soft White Sixties seemed to get louder with each of its final songs, from the heavy guitar solo of “Lemon Squeezer,” to the extended version of “Queen of the Press Club.” For the encore, they drove into a saucy, true-to-form rendition of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Evil Woman.” With the entire audience singing along with the iconic chorus, the Sixties looked fully satisfied and grateful to have just played for a room full of people who mirrored their own affection.