Nonphenomenal Lineage

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A night at Toad

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The Porter Square T station in Cambridge has about a thousand steps. It’s true. Climbing out of there feels like you’re climbing out of the center of the earth, it just goes up & up & up.

Last night, at precisely 9:58 pm, I emerged from these cavernous depths into a light drizzly rain over Porter Square. I crossed the street quickly and ran down a ways to the entrance of Toad, a tiny little bar you may not even notice walking by. The only demarcation is the 4 neon letters above the door.

Toad is a great little bar; it’s set up like your typical Irish Pub, of which there are literally hundreds in the Boston area, but due to it’s diminuitive size and local-clientele atmoshere, it seems friendly and warm.

Being as tiny as it is, there isn’t much room for guests and things get complicated on nights when Toad hosts local music acts. There’s never a cover and so people pack in the bar quickly and within seconds all the seats are gone, and then it’s standing room only–but well worth it, as the music is always lively and engaging.

Last night, as I approached the door, several people were standing out side, waiting for people to leave so the bouncer would let more in. Maximum capacity is 65, but it doesn’t even seem like that many people can fit in. I found my friend Ashley waiting to get in, and stepped into line with her. Hugo and Alissa showed up soon after, followed by some more of our friends a bit later.

The first band ended their set around 10:15, but no one wanted to leave after that; and I can’t blame them: Tim Grearon was to play next. Slowly, though, we were let in one by one, and we gathered in the corner waiting for Tim Grearon to play. This was my first experience seeing this guy and his band, but I had heard wonderful things.

A staple Monday night act, Grearon and his band of musicians squeezed in around the packed crowd, affably smiling and greeting people there, many of whom seemed to know the band.

20 minutes later, five guys with instruments crowed into the little dark red corner of the bar, lit by warm incandescent lighting, and started playing without any introduction.

They were fantastic.

The style of music, which I believe is typical fare at Toad, is sort of a general, laid-back Americana style, with some blues and blue grass influences. There was a mandolin, a saxophone, a trumpet, a guitar and drums. Grearon, wearing a black shirt and a grey felt fedora,


Written by pocheco

March 14, 2006 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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