Neptune played the Midway – 6/24

Long-running local experimentalists Neptune made their triumphant Boston return at a sold-out Midway Cafe.


I’ve caught Neptune on stage a few times in the past – as a duo integrating a ladder and a bucket of water into the set, and as a collective with bowed strings on belts – but strangely (or perhaps not), never in a format resembling a conventional rock band. That changed a few Saturdays back, as the trio of Jason Sanford, Mark Pearson and Daniel Boucher brought their first proper tour in many years towards its close at Jamaica Plain’s Midway.

I say “resembling conventional” because nothing about Neptune really fits within convention. Late on this Saturday night, a signature array of homebrewed gadgets – be they electronic, percussive or seemingly the result of an electric guitar and a ’57 Chevy fender falling through a malfunctioning teleportation machine together – aided in the creation of their tense, driving noise rock. And while aficionados of the past several decades of weirdo guitar music might’ve heard echoes of the familiar here or there, Neptune’s closest comparison could only be themselves. Pulling from ’00s LPs, early 7″s and compilation obscurities, the band constructed a ranging set to the delight of a packed house, many of whom had audibly been waiting a long, long while for this lineup’s reactivation.

Opening the night was an eclectic array of locals, starting off with a freeform kaleidoscope of noise, vocalizations and flying objects from Andrea Pensado. The Hive Mind Brass Quintet followed up with hypnotic meditations on their titular instruments, and noisemakers Rong rounded out the support with a typically high-flying, head-standing set. I haven’t written much about them here for whatever reason, but Rong are one of the best live bands in Boston for my money. A frenetic knockout, every set.

Check out photos of the whole evening in JP below.