White Lung / Greys - live in Allston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

White Lung / Greys

live in Allston (2016)

live show

This Saturday night show was a quick and concise 1-2 of great, noisy Canadian punk acts. Toronto’s Greys opened it with a set that consisted mostly - if not entirely - of songs from their new album, Outer Heaven, which itself is very good. It was my first time seeing the band, and though I got into them a couple releases ago, I didn’t mind getting a full platter of Outer Heaven material given how strong it is - a raucous mix of indie rock, post-hardcore and noise rock with a clear dosage of catchy hooks here and there. Think Cloud Nothings with more aggression at times. The set proved how well the band can do both quiet (opener “Cruelty”) and loud (“In for a Penny”) in the live setting as much as they can on record.

Set list (9:06-9:34):

  1. Cruelty

  2. No Star

  3. ?

  4. If It’s All the Same to You


  5. Coming down

  6. In for a Penny

  7. Blown Out

  8. ?


  9. Complaint Rock

White Lung was next, playing what I’m fairly certain is their biggest Boston-area show to date. I’ve seen them at places less than half this size like T.T. the Bear’s and Great Scott, and this was definitely a bigger stage for them, but a fairly sizable audience in attendance to warrant it. I was looking forward to it immensely with their latest effort, Paradise, rather high up there on my list of favorite 2016 albums so far. The larger surroundings may have made some negative aspects stick out a little more given White Lung are, at the end of the day, a punk band - the guitar seemed low in the mix at times, and the vocals sounded a little off-key here and there. After singer Mish Way completed the more challenging “Below”, which has far prettier melodies and cleaner singing than the band has usually tried, she said something to the effect of, “Well, I got through that, so the rest of this is a pinch.”

But nobody in the crowd seemed to truly mind the little imperfections, and the band retained a blistering tone for nearly 40 minutes that was still far and away highly enjoyable. The quartet raced through a mix of songs off their three most recent albums, which ignited a lone mosher for “Kiss Me When I Bleed” and generally excited, more polite movement from most other people near the front for the rest of the set. I was disappointed they didn’t play “Hungry”, the lead single and my favorite from Paradise, but highlights like “Demented” sounded especially heavy for the band in this context, and Deep Fantasy standouts “Drown with the Monster” and “Down It Goes” sounded great at the end of the set, giving things a real jagged, final jolt. Despite the elevated venue size for the band, there were no unnecessary flourishes or crazy light shows - simply their unique brand of snide and smart punk with Kenneth William’s electrifying guitar licks, drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou’s accelerated, machine-like drum work and newer bassist Lindsey Troy’s steady rhythm.

Set list (10:05-10:44):

  1. Face Down

  2. I Beg You

  3. Narcoleptic


  4. Below


  5. Kiss Me When I Bleed

  6. Take the Mirror


  7. Paradise

  8. Bag

  9. Wrong Star


  10. Sister

  11. Dead Weight

  12. Down It Goes

  13. Demented


  14. Drown with the Monster