Live Review: Milo Greene at the Majestic
As Milo Greene took the stage at the Majestic on Friday, a confused fan uttered, “I thought Milo Greene was a one-man act.” Much to the contrary, five people walked in front of the electric crowd, their name coming from the fabricated agent they had created early on to book gigs. Starting off slow with the acoustic introduction to “Take a Step,” the band dazzled the crowd by seamlessly progressing to a loud, electric climax by the end of the song. All at once, Milo Greene seemed to emulate the soft harmony of Stars, for whom they were opening, and the electrifying post-rock ballads of Explosions in the Sky. Their set list was impeccable, ranging from indie-rock, upbeat tracks like “Don’t You Give Up On Me” to the romantic, soft “Silent Way.” As "Silent Way" concluded and the vocalists pleaded, “When, when, when we’re older, can I still come over?” fans could be seen wiping their tears.
The range exhibited by the band was not limited to the tone of their songs. Other than percussionist Curtis Marrero, each member played several instruments and drifted from lead to backup vocals. In keeping with this versatility, Milo Greene has no clear leader and spokesperson: each member took turns speaking to the crowd, singing at the front of the band, and directing the others. This was a refreshing change of pace that reflected the communal, friendly atmosphere with which the five members perform. Particularly outstanding was Marlana Sheetz, who played keyboard, bass, and drums, all while providing beautiful vocals to every song. Her emotional and animated facial expressions perfectly contrasted the stoic, almost somber demeanor of the rest of the band.
The set progressed nicely, as Milo Greene played some of their new material along with most of their self-titled first album. They also knew how to play to those in the crowd less familiar with their music, whose eyes lit up as they began to perform a wonderful cover to Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago.” As with all great covers, Milo Greene succeeded in creating a version of the anthem completely unique from the original, which featured a heavy drum beat, soft guitars, and harmonizing between the four vocalists and the crowd. They closed the set with the sad “Autumn Tree” with the “Oohs” of the backup vocals adding an ominous touch to the melancholic lyrics and the slightly-faster, but equally grave “What’s the Matter.” As the harmony of the band singing, “What’s the matter? What’s the matter with you lately?” faded into silence with the lights dimming until the band was nearly invisible, fans erupted with cathartic applause. Milo Greene had done what all great concerts aim to do: Take the crowd on a journey.