With each area gig – on stages small and now big – it’s become increasingly clear that when Frightened Rabbit comes to Boston it’s probably a good idea to make sure your schedule is otherwise clear.
The Scottish quintet’s local legend was cemented with a sweaty, enthralling performance at a packed-to-the-gills Paradise in the fall of 2010. Eighteen months later, the band is signed to a major label and headlining far bigger rooms, and it would have been understandable if the atmosphere at the more cavernous House of Blues last Tuesday had been comparatively underwhelming. Though it would be nearly impossible to match the magic in the air on that October night – even front man Scott Hutchison recalled that gig fondly, wondering from the stage if a five-night Paradise stand could be in the cards in the future – the band and its fans did not disappoint as Frightened Rabbit returned to Boston on a tour in support of Pedestrian Verse, its finest album to date.
The band ebbed and flowed between largely upbeat selections from its last three albums, leaning most heavily on new material and songs from its 2008 breakthrough, The Midnight Organ Fight. Even as Hutchison seemed to struggle a bit with his voice, the Frabbits showed their appreciation for the enthusiastic crowd by stretching out its typical setlist by two songs, breaking out the rarity “Fuck This Place” during a short solo set and channeling some “Springsteen stamina” to add “The Twist” to an already barn-burning encore that also featured “The Woodpile,” “Living in Colour” and one of the best show-closing options in any band’s arsenal, “The Loneliness and the Scream.”
Frightened Rabbit’s Setlist:
Holy / The Modern Leper / Old Old Fashioned / Late March, Death March / December’s Traditions / Nothing Like You / Backyard Skulls / Head Rolls Off / The Oil Slick / My Backwards Walk / State Hospital / Poke (Scott solo) / Fuck This Place (Scott solo) / Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms / Swim Until You Can’t See Land / Acts of Man // The Woodpile / Living in Colour / The Twist / The Loneliness and the Scream