Nick Santino appears lonely while performing without former band

After a red eye flight from San Francisco to Boston, a restless nap, and some chicken quesadillas from the dining hall; I went to go watch This Century and Nick Santino on their Up Close and Personal tour. The concert was held at Brighton Music Hall with opening acts Rhett Price and Jillette Johnson.

Rhett Price is a violinist that plays rock/pop songs with guitarist Sage Griffin. On the other hand, Jillette Johnson was a soulful singer-songwriter from New York City. To be honest, I wished that both their sets were longer because, though Nick Santino played a fantastic set, This Century was less than impressive. Now, before you chase me around and threaten to set me on fire, hear me out.

I’ve heard This Century play this past summer as an opening act for The Maine. At the time, I thought they were decent and, despite the hardcore boy band vibe they gave out, I could dig it. However, when I saw them as one of the main acts on Sunday, my opinion changed.

I’ll admit that they seemed like nice guys, and perhaps it was simply the crowd that discouraged them from putting on their best show. I found that the lead singer, Joel Kanitz, was basically singing with his back to the audience for half the band’s set. I did enjoy a couple of their songs, particularly “Indigo Girl” and “Slow Dance Night”. They’re great guys, but I think their audience (filled with girls celebrating their Sweet Sixteen and an excessively enthusiastic woman in her thirties) just didn’t jive well with me that night and led me to think that I might be growing out of this boy band genre.

Nick Santino & The Northern Wind was a completely different story. I secretly hoped that he was going to stay on stage for the rest of the show. I honestly wouldn’t have minded at all. There were a couple points when Santino may or may not have forgotten the lyrics to his own songs, but he sang on and still produced some beautiful sounds. When he brought back Rhett Price to do some freestyle violin for his songs, it was quite a sight to see.

There’s something about this new country/folk vibe that Santino has been putting out that captures me. I’ve been listening to his album on repeat since the show and have accidentally embedded it into my roommates’ heads, as well. Santino, once a part of A Rocket to the Moon (before their breakup earlier this year), tried his best to handle the stage by his lonesome. You could tell that he was upset that he was alone, but it was the kind of loneliness he knew he had to have in order to pursue the music he wanted to make. He played some of my favorites, including “Too Good” and “Goddamn,” and closed with “Never Coming Back” (a favorite in our room).

It was a show that I’m content with to close out my fall semester of concerts. It wasn’t the craziest show and was hardly my favorite this year, but it’s one for the books. Last year around this time I had bonded with my future roomies at A Rocket to the Moon’s show and now things have come full circle with us seeing Nick Santino once again.

A year can bring a lot of change, such as an unfortunate band breakup, but hopefully my roomies are here to stay. At least ’til the end of the year. After all, we are bound by a BU housing contract.

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