Valentine’s Day can be a hard day to follow up, with the expectations of many set high by the joyous holiday. Cherry Glazerr lived up to the challenge though, putting on a worthy performance at Brighton Music Hall on February 15th. A very well-rounded group, Cherry Glazerr stunned me with both their visual spectacle and their comfort in taking musical risk.
The show opened with Sneaks, a one-woman outfit. Clad in what seemed to be a gold-velvet jacket, she appeared onstage with a bass and a laptop. Most of her set involved delivering spoken-word lyrics into the microphone, accompanied by produced music from her laptop. Occasionally, she would bust out the bass, on which she had significant chops. Unfortunately, a lot of her intricate sampling was lost in the somewhat cavernous Brighton music hall. The audience was also thrown off by her spoken word lyrics, probably being more accustomed to the produced-music status quo of yelling over one’s production. Regardless, I highly recommend checking out Sneaks’ music, which felt underappreciated at the show.
After Sneaks, there was a short break, during which large cherries were placed onstage. They immediately drew my attention, as I rarely see such humongous props. Cherry Glazerr emerged soon thereafter. Clementine Creevy, the lead singer and guitarist, chose a wardrobe of monochrome red to complement the large cherries behind her. Without introduction, the band catapulted into their first song, a driving punk-rock anthem.
After three songs, the band introduced themselves. Having taken my photos, I weaseled into the audience section to observe the trio. Cherry Glazerr’s unique approach to songwriting quickly became apparent. In an interview with Stereogum earlier this year*, Creevy explained “A lot of [her] songs come from just a melody striking in [her] head and then [she will] record it into [her] voice memos.” This melody-first songwriting approach manifested itself in the band’s tunes. In a few of them, the bass and drums would play in perfect unison with the lead guitar, prioritizing the part Creevy recorded on her phone and flipping the traditional roles of the instruments on their heads. The band’s syncopated, unison rhythms implied the downbeats of each measure, rather than having the drums state them outright. This refreshing take on punk rhythm kept me bobbing my head for the duration of the show.
Cherry Glazerr effortlessly combined their experimentation with a healthy dose of crowd interaction. At one point in the show, between songs, Creevy grabbed the mic and accosted the crowd: “are there any trash people in the audience tonight?” The crowd answered with thunderous applause. During the ensuing tune, Trash People, the trio alternated between half-time and regular 4/4 time in a refreshingly jarring way. Attention to detail in meter like that is a great way to grab the audience’s attention, especially if one’s setlist involves similar tempos and time signatures.
Overall, Cherry Glazerr put on a great show at Brighton Music Hall. With a combination of inventive songwriting and eye-catching props and outfits, they brought joy to a lot of folks, including myself. I look forward to their future outings in Boston.
*Here is a link to the Stereogum interview.
Cherry Glazerr (Left, Top Right) and Sneaks (Bottom Left) perform at Brighton Music Hall