Concert Review: “Rock the Fall” with E.R.I.E and Sydney Worthley @ The Linda 09/24/2023
“Live at The Linda Live” is a series of shows broadcast on the last Sunday of every month on WAMC – Northeast Public Radio. Hosted by the redoubtable Peter Hughes, this Sunday’s concert, dubbed “Rock the Fall”, featured two of the brightest lights on the 518 local music scene; namely the dynamic rock band E.R.I.E. and singer-songwriter-guitarist Sydney Worthley.
Worthley was up first, and she and her band delivered a tight set of her clear-eyed pop rock with a hint of country. It’s in her voice, the country feel, at times tremulous and vulnerable, at others forceful and direct. Worthley’s songs speak of love; lost and found, celebrated and regretted. “I Always Fall” is delicate and moving, “Heart Shaped Mess” a “Hell hath no fury” kiss off, tempered with the self-awareness of the lyric as she admits “How can I forgive you when I can’t even forget you?” Worthley noted that she had a great time recently making the video for this song, happy with how it turned out. She should be.
Worthley’s band ably handled the emotional mood swings of her material. Guitarist Leo Valenchis coaxed effective lead lines and riffs that perfectly complimented the songs, reminding me of Jorma Kaukonen or Will Sergeant in their subtlety. Julia Alsarraf bounced around the stage effervescently as she contributed fluid bass lines and on point backing vocals. Drummer Dan Livermore held it all together with precision and power. Make no mistake, Worthley is no shy retiring singer-songwriter—she rocks.
Faced with the unenviable task of following such a strong set, E.R.I.E. calmly knocked it out of the park.
Frontman TJ Foster kicked off his shoes and the band commenced to rock out righteously. Foster’s lyrics contemplate his brush with mortality after heart surgery (“Little Heartbreak”, “My Rusted Armor”) and the sorry state of the world (“After All (the Age of Apathy)”, “Bad Man’s World”) with sharp and literate detachment. His acerbic worldview is summarized succinctly with the churning angst of “World is on Fire.” For this song, they were joined by Worthley, who added a fiery and full-throated harmony, a highlight of the night.
Foster’s thought-provoking words and strong, clear vocals were supported by the careening guitar work of Matt Delgado, the vibrant bass of Levi Jennes, and the thunderous drumming of Chad Flewwelling. Together E.R.I.E. make a formidable racket, imagine Michael Stipe fronting Matchbook Romance to give you an idea.
All but one song performed was from this year’s excellent “Suburban Mayhem” album—hardscrabble guitar rock at its finest. You should check it out.
A small but devoted audience was in attendance and witnessed two of the best acts the capital region has to offer. Hopefully, the radio audience will spread the word even further.
The next “Live at The Linda Live” will be on October 29th, featuring The Sea The Sea and Diana Jones. That same night and just a few doors down Central, E.R.I.E. will be appearing at Pauly’s Hotel.
- 80’s Song
- Rose Colored Glasses
- Sinking Ship
- Blank Expression
- Hey Baby
- Heart Shaped Mess
- Thank You
- Both Ways
- I Always Fall
- How Soon Is Now?
- Can’t Stop Running
- Long Way Around
- Little Heartbreak
- World is on Fire
- After All (the Age of Apathy)
- The Background
- Picture of You
- My Rusted Armor
- Bad Man’s World
- Fireworks (partial instrumental for radio outro)