Diarrhea Planet/ Left and Right - Live in Allston (Cover Artwork)

Diarrhea Planet / Left and Right

Live in Allston (2015)

live show

Diarrhea Planet returned to the Boston area on April 3, 2015, accompanied by Philly band (via charlotte) Left & Right. The ticket proved to be a tough get, as this concert goer had to resort to paying a scalped ticket price of 2.5 times the ticket value to get in (thanks capitalism.) If there is one thing I have apparently developed a special gift for, it's incorrectly judging which shows are going to sell out around here.

Left & Right took the Great Scott stage at about 10:30. From the onset, the band was plagued with equipment issues which would resurface throughout their set. Admittedly, I had never heard anything from Left & Right, so I was going into the set totally green to their sound. The set definitely had its moments, as at times, they appeared on the verge of winning the crowd over. Yet, in the end, that potential never seemed to be fully reached. They'd play a song that would get people bouncing around a bit and then follow it immediately up with a song with less crowd appeal. The setlist just didn't seem to have any flow to it. Guitarists Phil Dameron and Daniel Merchant shared the vocalist duties fairly evenly. The crowd clearly latched on to Merchant's sound over Dameron's. Merchant's songs were able to raise the collective energy of the room, whereas Dameron's, at least on this night, did not have that same ability. Left & Right were a decent sounding band, but, from my subjective opinion, would have been much better off with Merchant handling the bulk of the vocals.

Diarrhea Planet took the stage and the sold out crowd began to squeeze in tight. The Nashville sextuplet, known for their shredding, 4 guitar sound, hit their first note and the place went off. From the get go the 21+ crowd and the band appeared to match each other's energy, note for note. DP apparently has universal appeal, as the diverse audience looked to be compiled of people from all walks of life, spanning all different ages, including a significant "older crowd." This was most notable right in front of the stage, as there was a lot more older faces mixing it up than you would typically see at a show like this, at least from my personal experience. The Great Scott crowd had a nice blend between the rowdy fans up front and the more mellow show goers on the outskirts, Besides a coupe of tight shirted bro bro's that had a tendency to act like they were reliving high school football practice - this was a good show crowd.

It was hard not to feel that energetic fun-loving aura that Diarrhea Planet brings to their sets. Charismatic guitarists, Emmett Miller, Evan Bird, and Jordan Smith were smiling and interacting with the crowd throughout the entire set. Smith gives off an almost rock star type vibe to him, especially when he puts the guitar down (as he did for their closer) and just plays the role of lead singer. There were multiple instances of Smith bellowing out lyrics as the crowd passed him around, both with guitar and without. Miller and Bird both bring a comedic type role with them to the stage, playfully bantering with each other, as well as the audience. Although fourth guitarist, Brent Toler takes a more laid back approach on stage, he still commands attention, although in a more subtle manner. The band introduced their new drummer - dubbed "Tough Gus." It was not clear whether Tough Gus role is road drummer or full time drummer. If there was any criticism to give to the stage performances, bassist Mike Boyle, didn't exude the same comfortableness and fun-loving vibe on on stage as the rest of his bandmates did.

The Diarrhea Planet set was filled with a mix of tunes, but the bulk of the songs coming off of their I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams album. "White Girls," "Separations" and "Kids" all brought an added element of excitement to the room, but it was "Field of Dreams" that appeared to get the wildest reception. When they closed the set out with the Who's "Baba O Riley" (which Smith reminded the crowd was NOT called "Teenage Wasteland") the Great Scott lost it's collective shit. If I'm not mistaken, they transitioned to an original than back to "Baba O Riley" during the song -but through all the mayhem I can't tell you what song it was. Bringing the pop covers to the stage seems to be a play of DP because they busted out Third Eye Blind's "Semi- Charmed Life" back at their October Sinclair show with Jeff The Brotherhood (before you judge that song selection I'd encourage you to hear them play it live at a show first). They later returned for a two song encore (after "Tough Gus" came out and got the crowd to do a southern inspired yell), closing out the night with "Lite Dream." That once again sent the room into a frenzy.

If there's any band having more fun on stage than these guys, I'm going to need to see the proof. It's been a while since I've seen a band's energy able to spread so contagiously from the stage to the audience members. The combination of this energy, stage presence, guitar showmanship, and all around sound makes a Diarrhea Planet show an absolute can't miss. I don't believe the band hide's their aspirations at wanting to become Rock Stars, and from my two show experiences, I would say they are well on their way.