This is the End… My Only Friend, the End
The end of what you ask? The end of an era; nine years after Natalie Lowe catalyzed Ellis Ashbrook’s move from Boston to Brooklyn, and all the ensuing madness (fun), she is leaving Brooklyn for a new mid-western home – on a boat. It’s true, this is happening, and last night the band returned to Boston for their last scheduled performance.
This is not to say that the end of this incarnation of Ellis Ashbrook is written in stone, as there is certainly the business of album #4, which is actually in the final stages, and there are plans to celebrate that much anticipated piece of work. There is also the impermanence of things in a transient state, making it impossible to know what is going to happen. Yet last night felt bittersweet for sure – a fitting end of sorts, performing on the same bill with long-time Boston rivals/friends The Shills, who played a great show, in the city where Natalie met John Barber at Berklee… and the rest, as they say, would be history.
Prophesizing and nostalgia aside, the business of the show is simple: Ellis destroyed it. All four members played excellently, with particularly inspired performances from Alex and John – clearly they were motivated by the exceptional deft of both drummers and guitarists in each of the previous bands – including the first band, newcomers No Hugs, showcasing fine musicianship and songwriting prowess, proving yet again that Boston remains fertile ground for great live music. Other than that, it was a straightforward, seven-song set. An all business set, with no banter at all – just music.
And with that, I say farewell to you. It has been my pleasure writing these recaps over the course of the last three years; I hope I get to do it again. It has been a blessing to know this band, these people, and share this experience of the traveling show on the road. No matter what transpires, no matter how this new chapter writes itself, there will be friendship, love, and music – guiding principles for sure. I look forward to writing about it again. Thank you all for your support!
Friday, August 5, 2016: THUNDER ROAD, Somerville, MA
Set: Desert Raft, On, The Undeveloped Brain, Off The Earth, Kan Eye Tuch U?, Therefore However and So Forth, Psychic Vampires
Without intro jam