LIVE: Ripe @ Pearl St Pub, Albany 10/11/2019

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The Pearl Street Pub (also known as PSP) is typically the place to go for local DJs, whose sets start close to midnight and play all the top radio hits. This was part of why it was surprising to see the long line outside the venue around 7 pm. The floor was packed with concert goers, grabbing drinks at the room length bar and enjoying the outdoor patio for much needed fresh air. The reason for all the excitement was that PSP and Sugar Productions were hosting Ripe, a seven piece dance rock band from Boston with special guest opening band, Castlecomer.

Castlecomer, the 5 piece band from Australia has gained quite a following with their catchy, rock grooves and spirited showmanship. The strict set timing left the crowd wanting more but were pleased to have the band members do meet and greets afterwards. They will be touring with Ripe for the next few weeks and are not opener to be missed.

Ripe started their set with “Pretty Dirty (In the Fading Light)” introducing the crowd to the solid brass section harmonies. This song usually a has a lighthearted groove, but the band kicked it into a fast paced rhythm that sent the crowd into a danced crazed scene. Unleashing a fan base who sang along to every word of Ripe’s original hits and proved they have a dedicated following here in Albany. Lead vocalist, Robbie Wulfsohn, held a strong presence as he relentlessly kept the crowd hyped up.

Most of their songs come in waves of a sunny melody and quickly builds to a chorus with a steady pulse such as “Passerby”. Their live performance sides more with a punk ska genre than the advertised funk band. Fans stayed in an impressive, friendly mosh pit for most of the hour and a half set.

Ripe showed off their playful creativity when they covered “Lola”  by The Kinks and Sublime’s “Santeria” highlighting the band’s timing of guitar rifts and horn crescendos.

Ripe ended the night with “Downward” and a surging pulse from the drummer, Sampson Hellerman, that nearly brought the house down. Ripe will continue their tour around the country, delivering a positive and high energy performance that is too contagious to ignore. Let’s hope that Pearl St Pub continues to book up and coming bands to fill their size-able venue.

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