For any Sticky Fingers fans expecting to see them perform live at a serene, laid-back show, heed these words of advice: if you don’t own earplugs, head down to the merch table, shell out a dollar or two, and buy some immediately.
Sticky Fingers’ 2019 performance at Boston’s Brighton Music Hall was remarkably excitable, not only because of their distinct reggae/indie rock fusion, but because of the feverish, boisterous crowd. Sure, the band’s casual entrance to the stage earned them a deafening roar that one would come to expect from most cultist audiences. But when they assumed their positions in preparation for their opening track “Land of Pleasure“, the persistent, ear-splitting screams and applause stopped the band in their tracks. They logistically couldn’t start playing at the risk of being drowned out from the crowd’s thunderous welcome. A smirk crept upon lead singer Dylan Frost’s face as he looked to his band members with a gladdened expression that read “okay, we’ll wait”.
The band waited about 30 seconds before starting their set, but it became abundantly clear that the incessant commotion was not going to stop. The only way to cater to the obsessive crowd was to meet or exceed their rambunctiousness. As a result, many of Sticky Fingers intimate, summery songs were forced to become volatile, tireless anthems. Several guitar solos, stage dives, and hair-raising theatrics later, Sticky Fingers created an electrifying show reminiscent of early 90’s performances that put indie rock on the map.
Sticky Fingers brightest moment arguably came on their first encore when they performed an acoustic rendition of their unreleased live track “Cyclone“. Dylan Frost and guitarist Seamus Coyle were the only two to step back onto the stage, both wielding guitars and sitting side-by-side as if they were playing to a classroom. The song was undoubtedly the slowest of the night, but it was also the best. The crowd finally lowered their volume just enough to hear Frost sing about lost tempers, loneliness, and persistent love all while remedied by the quick strum of dueling guitars. The song was a significant and indispensable outlier showcasing the fact that Sticky Fingers didn’t necessarily need the crowd’s energy to demonstrate their amazing talent.
When Frost and Coyle left the stage for a second time, there was no lack of certainty that the entire band would be returning for another encore to end the night on a more energetic note. As they predictably emerged from the curtains, the crowd erupted just as emphatically as they had all night. Sticky Fingers remained focused and straight-faced, but their bassist Paddy Cornwall conceded any tough stoicism by appreciatively professing “We play at venues four times this size, but your energy’s twice as big. This venue’s sick.” In reality, it was the Sticky Fingers’ fan-base who was sick. The Australian band clearly wasn’t expecting such a religious North American following, but they have no one but themselves to thank for the otherworldly fanatical support.
Below is a playlist featuring songs performed by Sticky Fingers during their 2019 trip to Boston’s Brighton Music Hall.
Favorite Live Tracks: Cyclone, Australia Street, How To Fly, Rum Rage, One by One
As an added bonus, check out the original acoustic rendition of Sticky Fingers’ unreleased song “Cyclone”: