Porchfest 2017 rocks Somerville

On May 17, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Music lovers gathered at a College Ave. residence to enjoy the music of The Ellen Degenerates as part of the 2017 edition of Porchfest Somerville. — Photo by Joe Ruvido

By Joe Ruvido

If measured by thousands of concertgoers enjoying an afternoon drink while seeing live music, Porchfest 2017 was a success.

Though the event, which is held annually on the second Saturday of May, was met with mediocre spring weather, it wasn’t stopping revelers like Antonio Escobar of East Somerville from enjoying the festivities. “I liked it a lot,” said Escobar, who was attending his first Porchfest with a group of friends. “The concept of walking around Somerville and listening to music and meeting up with my neighbors is nice.”

The event is organized by the Somerville Arts Council. Bands or solo artists are allotted a 2-hour window to play their music. The time slots for playing move east to west across Somerville; bands in East Somerville played from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m., Central Somerville from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., and West Somerville from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

According to the Arts Council website, more than 200 bands represented a wide range of genres, including rock, folk, indie rock, hip-hop, techno, electronica, blues, funk, pop, and jazz.

In a one-mile walk from Teele Square to College Ave, one could experience a wide range of sounds and musical styles. On Endicott Ave., Rock band Ten Penny Ransom transitioned from an original rock song to a cover of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. Lead singer Justin Yurasits donned a cowboy hat and a white t-shirt while sipping a glass of rosé.

Across Broadway on Fairmount Ave, indie/alternative trio The Pyramid Thieves combined lead synthesizer with electric drums and bass for a persistently mellow and intriguing sound.

Walking down Powderhouse Boulevard to Wilson Ave., the streets became more crowded and cars had to patiently meander by Georgia Overdrive, who played blues and country music to fans dancing in the street.

Houses hosting bands were very welcoming; one sign on Chandler Street read, “Come out back for acoustic music!”

There remained a festive atmosphere in the air as the last bands unplugged their instruments from amplifiers and normal city rules limiting the playing of live music on porches came back into effect.

Though Porchfest has become a seminal event in the city, it is one of many on a long calendar for the Somerville Arts Council, who will be hosting a Jazz Festival at Powderhouse Park in June.

timesphoto's Porchfest 2017 album on Photobucket

— Photos by Claudia Ferro


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