The Helio Sequence / Wild Pink - live in Allston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Helio Sequence / Wild Pink

live in Allston (2018)

live show

This was a great two-band bill on a Sunday night featuring a pair of real good indie rock bands I hadn’t seen in a while.

NYC rockers Wild Pink were up first, supporting their very good new album, Yolk in the Fur. Their sound fit in real well on this show, that being a cross between the soft, moving guitar atmospheres of Red House Painters and the heartland rock of the oft-compared the War on Drugs. The band played pretty well aside from a cursory sloppy moment or two, and the crowd seemed into it (lots of dancing) despite some weirdos trying to maintain their conversation with each other a foot from the stage. They sounded really good too, with the vocals and guitar clear as day. Surprisingly, I don’t think they played anything from their 2017 self-titled full-length, playing at least half of the newer Yolk in the Fur, one from their 2016 4 Songs EP, and one other song that I’m fairly certain was new, or super old, because I didn’t quite recognize it; I liked it, though.

Set list (9:16-9:52):

1. Lake Erie

2. Burger Hill

3. 4th of July

4. new song?

5. There Is a Ledger


6. The Seance on St. Augustine St.


7. Yolk in the Fur

The duo comprising the Helio Sequence came up after for a set to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their album Keep Your Eyes Ahead. This is the album that got me into the band, so it was a great time to see them live. They started with a half-dozen songs from other parts of their discography, and you could immediately tell these guys have been around for a while; they sounded super professional, and the sound was crisp. Vocalist/guitarist Brandon Summers’ voice was smooth, and drummer Benjamin Weikel’s funny head bobs and facial expressions were in full effect while he maintained his slick fills. They did thank the crowd for coming out, mentioned the nature of the tour, and even offered charismatic banter involving invitations to hang out with them in the bathroom (nothing salacious, they just don’t have a green room at this venue), but they kicked off Keep Your Eyes Ahead right in the middle of the set without much fanfare, which was kinda cool. The audience was into all of it, though.

The songs from Keep Your Eyes Ahead sounded just as good as on record, from the twangy “Lately” and propulsive “Can’t Say No” to the shuffling, energetic title track and folky “Broken Afternoon”. They played the whole thing, left the stage for a moment and then came back to officially close with a pair of songs from their 2004 album Love and Distance, a big, dancey bonus for everyone who stuck around late.

Set list (10:17-11:24):

1. Everyone Knows Everyone

2. Red Shifting


3. Stoic Resemblance


4. October

5. Downward Spiral


6. Battle Lines

7. Lately

8. Can’t Say No

9. The Captive Mind

10. You Can Come to Me

11. Shed Your Love

12. Keep Your Eyes Ahead


13. Back to This

14. Hallelujah

15. Broken Afternoon

16. No Regrets

Encore (11:25-11:35):

17. Don’t Look Away

18. Harmonica Song