February 24, 2018 @ The Sinclair
By: Liam Morgan
Seeing STRFKR has always been at the top of my concert bucket list, but despite my (mediocre) planning, sold out tickets or scheduling conflicts always seemed to get in the way of my plans. When I saw that they were coming back to Boston this year, I knew it would have to take multiple broken bones to force me to stay home. Thankfully, my ski trip a week before resulted in only ONE broken leg, so I was good to go. I may have been the only kid climbing the stairs with a braced leg outside The Sinclair in Cambridge, but it definitely added character and proved my determination. I was going to see this concert.
The indie rock band started as a small solo project in 2007 led by Joshua Hodges. Since then the band has gained a few members and thousands of followers filled with unwavering loyalty to the delightfully odd group of musicians. Trying to classify STRFKR into one genre is nearly impossible, and takes away from the vast range of music they’ve created. The group has been successful in fusing electronic music with indie rock/pop while still continuing to demonstrate artistic growth over the years. The surprisingly complex compositions often sound straightforward without being redundant or boring – a feat that is not always gladly met in indie pop music today. STRFKR is one of the only bands that can evoke a feeling of unexplainable nostalgia when listening to almost any of their dozens of songs. Maybe it’s the combination of old school synths with modern production or the recurrent samples of British-American philosopher Alan Watts recorded over their music. Either way, they’ve perfected a sound that stir up feelings of reminiscence and sentimentality.
Before the band came onstage in baby pink bob wigs, the psychedelic synths filled the venue. The group then played a surprising 30 songs without losing energy or charisma. After five full length LPs and three vault albums containing various samples and demos from over the years, I wasn’t sure what the set list would be like. Not only were the hits played, but the group also made sure to play deep cuts that blended with the concert’s flow. There was never an uneventful moment and the arrangements of the songs were unique to the studio recordings, giving the tracks new life. About halfway through the set, the members dethroned themselves from their respective instruments and traded spots on stage – a literal game of musical chairs that further proved their substantial talent and appreciable artistry. The stage presence and exceptional musicianship stood out to me during the entire concert. Even after switching instruments, each member was able to listen and produce a cohesive and unified sound as a group rather than playing as individual musicians. Between dancing astronauts and a bright pink inflatable duck that was used as a vessel for crowd surfing, the music never wavered under anything than exceptional.