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Paper Route, Royal Tongues and Upperfields @ Johnny Brenda’s.

February 24, 2015

PaperRoute01Text and images by Tyler Horst.

Sunday night is just as good as any night to party. The decked-out upstairs space at Johnny Brenda’s filled with a steadily growing crowd over the course of the evening for some very feel-good music from Paper Route (above), Royal Tongues and Upperfields.

First up was local band Upperfields, a folk band with pop sensibilities and an ear for harmonies. The songs were mellow but with a distinctly upbeat feel. Guitarists Shaun Gold and Justin Nawn’s sweeping combined with the soulful, resonant bass of Lee Clarke created a rich sound. For the final number, Gold and Nawn encouraged the crowd to join in the harmonies of the song.

Taking things to a more energetic place was Royal Tongues. Only on their eighth show as a band, Royal Tongues wowed the audience with their well-crafted and fun brand of dance-rock. With a driving rhythm section, poppy synths and some sharp, disco-esque guitar lines, Royal Tongues pushed many to tap their feet and dance. With such confidence and skill, Royal Tongues seemed a much older band.

“You’re such a beautiful crowd, can we take a picture of you?” asked singer Aaron Bonus toward the end of the set. The drummer climbed atop his seat and snagged a photo of the delighted crowd.

Closing out the evening was Paper Route. The room had filled out considerably since the beginning of the night, and the band was grateful.

“Thank you for braving the snow and the Oscars to come see us tonight,” said J.T. Daly.

Paper Route launched into a set of anthemic rock songs with heavy additions of electronica. The sparkling synths and expansive guitar riffs provided space for Daly’s soaring vocals. Many of the songs featured lifting melodies with vulnerable lyrics, suggesting a sort of guarded optimism, like watching the sun come out after a rain shower. Others were more straight-up dance tracks, owing more to synth-pop and ’80s new wave.

Even though things didn’t wrap up until around midnight, the audience still demanded an encore … and got one.

  1. February 24, 2015 4:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Humongulous and commented:
    I covered the Paper Route show for JUMP and got some cool pics. Read the review here:

  2. February 25, 2015 4:45 pm

    Reblogged this on MUNCH and commented:
    What a fantastic and energetic show this was, watching great musicians inside such an intimate and humble setting. Though I fully enjoyed the live entertainment, atmosphere and inspiring vibes, I will definitely return for a taste of Johnny Brenda’s fresh menu options!

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