Rooms by the Hour is considered by many to be Rustic Overtones‘ best album. It is certainly their most popular, and the release that broke the band within the Portland, ME music scene, ultimately leading to their major label deal with Artista. Rooms was released in 1998 and features the building blocks of what has come to be known as the Rustic sound—funky riffs, big horns and energetic vocals. The band recently joined the ‘play-your-whole-album’ craze that is super popular with fans right now by holding several sold out shows in their hometown around Christmas. The performances were so popular that Rustic decided to bring it around New England, specifically to Church in Boston this past Friday.
Fans expecting to just see Rooms were surprised when the band announced that they’d be playing two sets—the first being one of catalog-spanning fan favorites then a second of the famous album. Rustic got Church moving with tight versions of “Rock Like War,” “Common Cold” and “Crash Landing” which added an extended percussive jam. Guitarist and lead singer Dave Gutter almost blew the roof off the joint during “Combustible,” jumping into the crowd and performing the whole song with sweaty fans singing word for word back in his face.
After a short break, Rustic returned to the stage and effortlessly tore through every track on Rooms. Highlights included rarities like “Kicking and Screaming” and “The Shaker.” Ryan Zoidis raged with two killer solos on “History Crush” and “Iron Boots” respectively. Having seen the band several times in the past few months, it’s safe to say that Gary Gemitti is finally cutting loose behind the kit. He sounded more confident and really got in the groove on uptempo songs like “The Heist” and “Let’s Start a Cult.”
These Rooms by the Hours shows have clearly re-energized the band. Rustic remain humble and appreciative to their fans who have stuck with them for over twenty years. These shows are their version of giving back. So return the favor once more by checking out their music and catching them in person next time they roll through your area.
Let’s Start a Cult
Gas On Skin
Rock Like War
I Like It Low
Feast or Famine
Hardest Way Possible
Kicking and Screaming