The music of The Republic Tigers can be warm, almost harps on to ambient at times, kind of like lead singer Kenn Jankowski. I've known Kenn for many a year: we first met in 2003 when The Golden Republic (then still The People) were opening for Nada Surf. A little over a year later, TGR had done an in-studio on my radio show, and would return to my alma mater before the school year was out to play a show I would book. Walking down the steps last night at the Middle East, Kenn Jankowski was walking up. With a quick mention of his name, he would turn to me, exclaim "What the hell are you doing here!?", and deliver me a huge hug. He bought me a drink, and we caught up since it had been just over three years since we were in the same room.
TRT is bound to blow up sooner or later. Their live set last night opening up for Subtle and Black Moth Rainbow showed why. Their may be a lot going on inside the songs that fill up the space on their debut, Keep Color, and I was curious to see how they'd pull it off live - and they did. Jankowski's vocals shifted shape without issue - Ryan Pinkston's acoustic guitar was a bit quiet at times (but it might be because I was right up in the front), but the three electric guitar assault on "Golden Sand" and set closer "Fight Song" made up for that. What also helped that song succeed live was not only the guitar trifecta, but the drum circle Jankowski, Pinkston and drummer Justin Tricomi pull off in the songs instrumental passages from verse to chorus. They were loud and they were thunderous. Evacuate now we will.
The Republic Tigers Set List
Weatherbeaten / The Drums / Feelin' The Future / Made Concrete / The Nerve / Air Guitar / Golden Sand / Contortionists / Buildings & Mountains / Fight Song
The band make their national TV debut tonight on The Late Show with David Letterman. You know I'll be watching.