Pernice Brothers @ Racket, NYC, May 19, 2023 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Pernice Brothers

Pernice Brothers @ Racket, NYC, May 19, 2023,

May 29, 2023 Photography by Matthew Berlyant Web Exclusive
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To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the debut Pernice Brothers album Overcome By Happiness, originally released on May 19th, 1998 (exactly 25 years before this show), and its brand-new and first-ever vinyl release on the New West label, Joe Pernice put together a really special show for two nights only; one in Boston (Somerville, MA appropriately enough, to be exact) and this one in New York, featuring his brother Bob Pernice on guitar, fellow Toronto resident Liam Yaeger on bass, Philly’s Patrick Berkery drums, and a string quartet sitting in as well.

And in the tradition of twisting expectations and normal rituals involved with full-album shows, the album was indeed played in full (as advertised), but in reverse order, meaning they opened with the moody ballad “Ferris Wheel” (the album’s closer) and it’s wasn’t until the fifth track “Wait to Stop” (with its insanely catchy chorus and outro) that we heard an upbeat track. This was by design, as Pernice and company wanted to ease the crowd into a (slightly) more rocking evening as the set went on.

Still, this is the album with “Chicken Wire” (once voted the most depressing song of all-time in some magazine or other) on it, so while everyone had a great time and many were visibly excited and singing along as many of these songs had never been played live before, this isn’t exactly a KISS or Van Halen album or something. That said, the joy on Pernice’s face was palpable throughout and after “Crestfallen” ended the main set, they came back out to play three more catalogue “hits,” including “The Ballad of Bjorn Borg,” (one of Pernice’s finest compositions) and “Somerville,” which a crowd member had been audibly yelling for during the entire set. Moreover, Pernice said that New West will be releasing a new Pernice Brothers album soon and it’ll also continue to reissue their back catalog, something they started themselves a few years ago via their Ashmont imprint.

It’s definitely a very exciting time to be a Pernice Brothers fan!


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