Saintseneca - live in Allston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


live in Allston (2018)

live show

This casual Wednesday night show was supposed to be a great little pairing of bustling indie-folk stars Saintseneca and up-and-coming Saddle Creek artist Black Belt Eagle Scout. Unfortunately, the latter’s van broke down on the way to the show, and this already tidy two-band bill became a one-man show for Saintseneca. They more than made up for it by playing the entirety (...I think…) of their brand new (and very good) album, Pillar of Na, and then announced it was “TRL” time and took a bunch of requests from the crowd right then and there. Drummer Matt O’Conke told me it was the longest set they’d ever played! They had a nice little background as well, with two light fixtures shaped as mini-lightning bolts that were constantly striking flanking their new heart-shaped strawberry imagery.

Despite the great length for them (about an hour and a half), they were fantastic all the way through. Any time I’ve seen them play has been great, and this was really no exception; they consistently put on a studio-quality performance, with the audio sounding big and crisp all around, and the push into pop melodies and soaring harmonies on their new album work hand-in-hand with that.

All of the new songs sounded expectedly outstanding. I’m still unsure if they actually played the entirety of Pillar of Na, as I think they claimed to at the end of it, but I don’t quite remember hearing “Feverer” and definitely don’t recall “Timshel” getting in there. But all the major hits off it were played for sure, like the Decemberists-esque “Ladder to the Sun” with its Peter Buck-y mandolin-sounding finger-picking, the Springsteen-referencing anthem “Moon Barks at the Dog”, and “Frostbiter”, the last with its traffic-stopping siren chorus by bassist Caeleigh Featherstone.

The request set was a great mix of songs from their other three albums, and with their current level and skill of performance, they blended in perfectly. Everyone in the crowd spent much of the first 10 minutes hollering out their appeals. I was very appreciative they heeded my call for “Uppercutter”, while “Only the Young Die Good”, “Happy Alone” and “How Many Blankets Are in the World?” were sure highlights too.

Set list (8:38-9:59):

  1. Circle Hymn

  2. Feverer [?]


  3. Beast in the Garden

  4. Ladder to the Sun

  5. Good Hand [Zac Little solo]

  6. Moon Barks at the Dog

  7. Denarius

  8. Timshel [?]

  9. Frostbiter

  10. Pillar of Na



  11. Blood Bath


  12. Uppercutter


  13. Takmit


  14. James


  15. Acid Rain


  16. Only the Young Die Good

  17. Happy Alone


  18. River


  19. Sleeper Hold


  20. Beasts


  21. The Awefull Yawn

    Encore (10:00-10:10):

  22. How Many Blankets Are in the World? [Zac solo]


  23. Visions

good pic by a random instagram user: