—By Ryan Ledesma
Blues/rock/punk duo, The Pack A.D. played an energetic set Thursday night (Nov. 17) at The Firebird to promote Positive Thinking, the band’s 6th studio record. The album is now available, having just dropped last week.
The Duo, made up of Becky Black (vocals, guitar) and Maya Miller (drums), lay down their songs with the sound of a band at least twice their size. Miller’s powerful drumming mixed with Black’s loose, blues-inspired, vocals and guitar create a hard rock, but relaxing style.
They started off the set with the slow build-up song, ‘Skin Me’, before getting more up to speed with ‘Los Angeles’, both songs from Positive Thinking, but honestly seeming a bit too clean and polished to stand out to me.
‘Cellophane’ and ‘Haunt You’ serve as the first break from the new album, bringing recognizable hits, and a little rougher sound, proving to be crowd pleasers.
For the rest of the relatively short set (playing for just about an hour) they alternated between songs from Positive Thinking, and few more recognizable songs from their more recent albums, Do Not Engage (2014), and Unpersons (2011). They even covered The Thermals’ ‘Returning to the Fold’ towards the end.
While their blues roots still show through, their sound has evolved from the very raw blues sound of their first album, Tintype (2008), to the much more refined and polished indie/garage rock sounds of Positive Thinking, and their live performance reflects that evolution as well.
Even though I enjoyed the show, I couldn’t help but feel that it left me wanting more, in part because of the short set. Also, being a big fan of those early blues inspired albums, I was hoping to witness a bit more of that raw blues grit, and unrefined energy that ran rampant in those earlier songs. Despite this, I still recommend checking them out if you are in one of the few cities left on the tour.
Opening for The Pack A.D. was St.Louis native, Middle Class Fashion, whose room shaking (literally) set of electronic synth-pop was quite impressive and a great start to the evening. Their most recent release III (or iii) is available now and is definitely worth a listen.
Photo gallery after the Setlists.
The Pack AD Setlist
Returning to the Fold (The Thermals cover)
Yes I Know
Middle Class Fashion Set List
100 Miles away
Don’t Stop It