Mindset Xband Proves How Deep Their Talent Runs at the CD Release for Oceans
By Shawn Herlihy
Photos by Kimberly Marchand
As Mindset X entered the Stone Church Meeting House in Newmarket, NH for their CD release blow-out on August 29, they knew the audience wasn’t in for a run-of-the-mill night of music. Accompanied by My Sister Will and The Gray Davies, they knew they’d be stepping up their game ~ and step it up they did. The trio ripped through the new songs off their album Oceans and then performed a raucous mini set of older favorites; I overheard more than a few people commenting that they felt as though they’d just seen a national-level show ~ and with the bands giving some of the best performances of their careers, the sound system pounding, the drinks flowing (courtesy of a great staff), and the crowd going crazy from the very first note, I have to say I agree with them.
My Sister Will kicked off the night with a raucous, raunchy (just the way we like it) set of hard rock and roll originals and some great covers. “All our songs are about rock and roll or having sex,” frontman Jayce Longway proclaimed. They backed up the swagger with an incredibly electric, pounding set. Launching into an Extreme cover, the guys were joined by guest singers to add to the already great harmonies provided by bassist Ryan Gagne-Hall. “Drinking Motherf***ers Say, ‘Hell Yeah!'” is the band’s call, and the response from the audience showed they were totally into what the band what giving them from the stage. MSX’s home base of Manchester was well represented by Jayce and company.
The Gray Davies then took the stage and instantly launched into a Replacements-meets-Fugazi, catchy-as-hell set. They feature an energetic ~ and a bit crazy ~ frontman (a compliment from us, to be sure!) and a pounding rhythm section that was reminiscent of everything from punk to a touch of stoner metal. One memorable song after another from this tight, veteran threesome brought the already palpable energy level in the house up another notch.
The guys in Mindset X always enjoy playing for an audience. But for this show, they were determined to get everything just right. From setting up lighting rigs hours in advance to hashing out the long set, they made sure every detail was covered and doublechecked. Songs from the album Oceans were faithfully delivered, but there’s always room for improvisation, and tonight was no different in that regard. “Island,” an already soaring, showstopping piece, was presented with a longer-than-usual finale, a little guitar frenzy by Steven, and a satisfied smile by all three as the song ended.
The trio has really hit its mark in terms of the writing and musical choices on this latest album, so being able to present it to a live audience and get the overwhelmingly enthusiastic feedback from them that they did was incredibly satisfying for the band and everyone involved in its creation ~ and for those of us who got to witness Mindset X’s obvious triumph. This album was over a year in the making, and engineer/producer Jay Frigoletto beamed side stage as he enjoyed seeing the fruits of his labor so well received.
The 15 minute opus “The Great Divide” was met with one of the biggest ovations of the night. It is that piece of music in particular that grows and grows in the live performance. After finishing what might be considered MX’s live masterpiece thus far, the last song on Oceans, the boys tuned up and brought out some of their old favorites. By the time they got around to “Dirty Little Freak,” the dance floor was packed and it was clear that the night ~ and the band ~ were both huge successes!
One phrase that keeps appearing in various forms in reviews of Oceans is that Mindset X has made progressive music accessible and fun ~ and judging by the CD release party, the comment is dead-on ~ and is just the beginning of the kudos that the band will be earning not only with this album, but with many to come.
The story of Jacob is just getting started.
Mindset X is Steven Haidaichuk (guitar and vocals), Adam Cote (drums), and Paul Davidson (bass, keys and vocals).