Ratboys played Brighton Music Hall – 9/28

Chicago’s Ratboys brought a tour behind new LP The Window to Allston last week. 


Ratboys have been a favorite-band’s-favorite-band situation for some time now, racking up tours with the likes of Pup, Foxing and Soccer Mommy in the pre-pandemic days and having their virtues extolled by every tourmate. They were poised for a big year in 2020, with the late February release of the great Printer’s Devil and a planned tour that would’ve hit the dearly-departed Great Scott, but we all know how that stretch of time went down. Thankfully, sometimes things work out, and the band was finally back in town last week for the first time since all that, playing their biggest local show yet in support of their best record to date.

The Window, the fifth official Ratboys full-length, dropped in August to the immediate and accurate buzz of being a level-up sort of release. Produced by ex-Death Cab For Cutie passenger Chris Walla and introduced to the world via sprawling 8-minute lead single “Black Earth, WI,” it’s the strongest and most confident set of songs yet from a band who already had no shortage of folksy indie-power-pop gems to their credit.

A healthy Thursday night crowd showed out to catch the Chicago four-piece last week at their supporting tour’s Boston date – a gig that I sadly didn’t catch nearly as much of as I wanted to. Alas, that’s what happens when the reggaetón stadium show assignment doesn’t start promptly. I did make it in time for “Black Earth” at least, which took it’s fitting and presumably permanent place as a main set closer, followed by a pair of favorites from Printer’s Devil that singer/guitarist Julie Steiner introduced with a shoutout to that Great Scott gig that never came to pass.

Check out a sort of reverse first-three-songs gallery from the evening below.