From the opener, “City Lights,” they set the tone of the night with the sing-a-long chorus of, “I’m just having a good time.” As lead vocalist Octavio Genera shuffled across the stage, gliding from left to right and swinging his mic in and out of his hand, The Soft White Sixties converted anyone in the crowd who didn’t know their name.
“We’re so happy to be here,” Genera grinned during a rare moment of stage banter.
Guitarist Aaron Eisenberg led the crowd with the riff-driven “Don’t Lie to Me,” breaking into a slinky solo that highlighted bassist Ryan Noble and drummer Joey Bustos’s chugging rhythms. Their collective, understated cool radiated from the content smiles on their faces, especially in juxtaposition to Genera’s impassioned gestures and unresting hands. When he wasn’t tapping his heart to the beat or beating a tambourine, he waltzed with the mic stand or motioned to the sky as if praying for rain.
After the familiar “When This All Started,” The Soft White Sixties offered another familiar classic, T.Rex’s iconic anthem “Children of the Revolution,” a song the band has adopted into their catalog of crowd-pleasers. Every person in the audience, whether they were there to see the Soft White Sixties or not, recognized something in the song to latch onto.
As the band progressed into “Knock It Loose” and eventually “Lemon Squeezer,” I suddenly remembered their Noise Pop show at The Chapel earlier this year. I remembered how much good-bad attitude they had on that stage and how damn smooth their set was. But as memorable as that show was, it was so glaringly clear in the seamless transitions, their un-calculated control and the easiness of the performance last night that proved The Soft White Sixties have crossed a threshhold of skill that they hadn’t yet breached in February. They are a spectacle, and they are so much fun. You read it here first: In support of their next album, whenever that may come to be, The Soft White Sixties will be headlining The Fillmore.