Posted Aug 4th, 2015 (10:00 am) by Stacie Sullivan
Image by Stacie Sullivan

It may have been Osheaga weekend only an hour and a half north of Burlington, but that didn’t stop bands from swinging through the Green Mountain State for a show. Saintseneca and Leisure Cruise made for a fun Friday night in the queen city.

Leisure Cruise, traveling from Brooklyn to play Osheaga, stopped in and opened the show. Their funk fuelled indie-pop sound made the set easy to dance along to. On first impression the band had great stage presence and audience interaction. But, this mentality would be much better fitted for a large sold out venue. With only eight people in Higher Ground's Showcase Lounge, the crowd energy just didn’t stand a chance. Regardless, front-woman Leah Siegel had no problem working it both on the stage and in the crowd, or lack thereof.

In fact, there were so few people there that at one point Siegel said “we should welcome every new person that walks into the room like they do at Japanese restaurants.”

About half way through their set I noticed that the band was playing to a backing track, which was rather disappointing. At one point I even stepped out of the room and could hear that the what the band was playing live wasn’t matching with their back track. Excellent stage presence aside, musically Leisure Cruise could use some work for their live performances.

IYS is no stranger to Saintseneca. We caught them at SXSW 2014 and last summer at Higher Ground and each time they have been a better show. This time around, they had a noticeably larger crowd, they lost the stomp boxes, and came with some fresh material.

They jumped right into the set with a new song before playing the fan favorite “Acid Rain.” After the first few songs Maryn Jones sweetly addressed the crowd by thanking them for coming and noting how pretty Vermont is. Front-man Zac Little then asked jokingly if Ben or Jerry (of Ben & Jerry’s in case you didn’t get the reference) was in the crowd, but unfortunately there was no response.

The band played a few more new tracks and from the sounds of it, Jones takes more of an upfront role on the new material. She also appears to have a more confident presence on stage just a year ago. Both a welcomed and pleasant surprise.

Little apologized for regaling the crowd with all new songs, but then they kicked it into high gear. “It’s a blue moon tonight, let’s get weird!” he said before playing material off of their last release Dark Arc including “Happy Alone,” “Only the Young Die Good,” and “Wait On.” The crowd eagerly stomped their feet and sang along to their old favorites.

Saintsenca closed their set with a rockus new song, but everyone wanted more. It was evident that the band didn’t have an encore planned as Jones came out from the green room shushing the crowd, but the fans got their way. Jones and Little came back onto the stage and introduced “Fed Up With Hunger” by saying “I hope I can sing this song right now.” They could sing it, and it was the perfect ending to a great show.

Saintseneca will release their new album this. Stay tuned for updates regarding the album release!

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