Concert review: Almost Mondays are more than “cool enough” | arts

On August 3, a line of hundreds of concert-goers snaked around the Roadrunner in Boston, the city’s newly established venue. There, the Californian indie pop trio gave the audience an unforgettable experience almost on Monday.

Comprised of 20-something Dawson Dougherty, Luke Fabry and Cole Clisby, The Driver Era joins forces with veteran indie rock group Summer Salt almost Monday for their US tour through early September. Having gained most of their notoriety during the pandemic, this is Monday’s first tour.

Along with vocalist Dawson Dougherty, the trio consists of Luke Fabry on bass and Cole Clisby on guitar. Courtesy of Alisa Regassa

“Sorry, I’m nervous,” said frontman Dougherty, speechless at the so many people in the crowd. Despite the current stage fright, almost Monday delivered an impressively charismatic performance for an up-and-coming act.

Their set opened with two yet to be released songs – “go the distance” and “dance with you?”. – before venturing into more familiar territory for their audience. Playfully peppered with ad-libs from the band’s instrumentalists, “Parking Lot View” and “Live Forever” are candid and light-hearted approaches to youth and a perfect introduction to the almost-Monday-available discography.

The band matched the infectious energy of their tracks with their bubbly and cute performance, targeting the young demographic in the crowd. For example, after delivering a rhythmic feel-good performance of “Sun Keeps On Shining,” Dougherty shyly asked to be photographed of the Boston crowd, drawing cheers from the swooned fans.

Boston audiences loved Dougherty and his energetic performance.

The band’s Southern California background and classic rock influence are clear, from the sunny themes behind tracks like “Sunburn” to the groovy, upbeat guitar chord progressions in “Sun Keeps On Shining”. Her songwriting also reflects relatable coming-of-age themes, like fears of not being “cool enough” for a crush or potential partner, which are juxtaposed with lively Cali-inspired riffs and na-na-nas that draw audiences in can’t help but echo. Interacting with the crowd on “Hustenbonbons,” another unreleased track previously teased on TikTok, also had the entire stadium singing along to the rhythmic guitar tune.

While the selection was heavy with unreleased material, it ended up being the perfectly crafted combination of Almost Montag’s current discography and what’s to come.

Fast Montag's frontman Dawson Dougherty picks up the guitar.

The band’s performance only stumbled when it came to their shyness in connecting with audiences, likely due to their unfamiliarity with touring. With a pair of sunglasses and a reluctance to explore the stage, Doughtery’s performance slowed down a bit. Regardless, it wasn’t enough to mar the band’s impression on the audience, as Dougherty’s vocals resonate clearly throughout the venue and the instrumental mastery of Fabry and Clisby is undisputed. As this is only their second stop on a national tour, the trio’s stage presence and undeniable chemistry are sure to improve and their performance will continue to leave a lasting impression on future audiences.

Watch almost Monday open for The Driver Era on their ongoing tour.

– Associate Abigail A. Golden can be reached at [email protected] Associate Alisa S. Regassa can be reached at [email protected]

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