The Main Squeeze: Seeing Juice at the Middle East

By Nate Hirsch and Evan Zigmond

When we first heard Juice on Spotify, we were confused about the sound the band was going for. We thought it was rap music, but in this case, Juice cannot be put in a box. In some ways, Juice is a very innovative group. Sonically, they combine Funk, Pop, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Rock music. They also seek to innovate through instrumentation, pulling instruments from multiple idioms. Besides the standard guitars, drums, and basses, Juice features a dedicated Emcee, a saxophone, and a fiddle. Going to the show answered many of our questions about the group, but left us scratching our heads for a different reason.

Being from Boston, Juice has many dedicated fans. When Juice came out and played their first tune, everyone in the venue sang along. The band fed off the crowd’s energy exceptionally well, creating a feedback loop of excitement that we could not help but feel. The band members also worked off each other well. Many of the songs in the set involved longer solos, during which the lead singer would interact with the soloist. He would dance or get up in their face, pumping vigor into each solo. The fiddler and the vocalist had an especially tight bond; they obviously had fun. With each solo, the vocalist pushed the fiddler into a jumping frenzy, leaving his bowstrings everywhere by the end of the set. Musically, the band is extremely tight. They execute very precise funk rhythms, and perform quick vocal harmonies during their hooks. Their infectious energy and clean performance got to the back of the room: When we went to check our coats, we saw a guy at the merchandise table who couldn’t choose between dancing and taking another bite of his hoagie.  

Not only did Juice have energy, but they also kept us yearning for new, original material. By the end of the set, our ears were ready for harmonic exploration. Juice has very capable musicians, and we look forward to their future songs, in the hopes that they will use their capabilities to break new ground.

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