Sunshine, Porch Party, Feb. 20 at the Underground Coffeehouse

As part of Western’s Underground Coffeehouse Wednesday Concert Series, Porch Party and Sunshine took the to the coffee house stage on Feb. 20, making for a fun alternative to a typical Western Wednesday.

Though half of Porch Party wasn’t in attendance, Teo Crider, who is usually joined by fellow Candysounder Nikko Van Wyck, played a solo show with just him and his guitar.  He started strong with an endearing cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” a love song written for Janice Joplin that fit Crider’s voice well.

He went on to play a series of covers and stripped-down Candysound songs.  Though Crider’s pure voice and musical talent are undeniable, the similar pace of each song made the performance feel a bit long, and made me curious to see a real Porch Party performance.

Crider ended with a cover of Blink 182’s “Going Away to College” that picked up the pace nicely and left the crowd with a sense of nostalgia.

As a fan of Sunshine’s recorded music, I was excited to see how their music would translate live, especially at such a small venue.   However, when the first song began it was difficult to figure out what the main instrumental focus was supposed to be — most of the melody came from the keyboard and the guitar, but the drums were overpowering them. — The Underground Coffeehouse may not have been the best venue to support Andrew Nickerson’s loud drumming style, and the problem could have been avoided in a larger space.

Other than that, Sunshine did a pretty good job of recreating their recorded sound.  The vocals were perfectly reverbed that almost reminded me of a younger, edgier Phil Collins — which is an element not included in the band’s recordings.

Overall, Wednesday night’s show created a relaxed atmosphere that kept the audience engaged long enough to make for the perfect study break.