Arts, Off Campus

BC Student Band Commands Crowd at Paradise Rock Club

A long line stretched from the front doors of famed Paradise Rock Club down Commonwealth Ave. as eager fans waited to be admitted into the venue on Saturday night. The club’s “Wall of Fame” exhibits the dozens of music legends that have performed in the venue, from Etta James to Aerosmith. 

Boston College student band Photo Negative joined the ranks of groups that have taken the stage at Paradise Rock Club, as it performed for a sold-out crowd on Saturday. Photo Negative opened for the band Juice, which is composed of BC alumni. 

Photo Negative, along with the Boston-based band Couch, opened for Juice on the tour for its new album, Boy Story. Amid blue and pink strobe lights and large signs held by fans, Photo Negative dominated with its stage presence, performing both original songs and covers. The band covered Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town,” Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun,” The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” and Avicii’s “The Nights.”

Photo Negative’s original works drew loud cheers. The band showed off new and upcoming releases, including, “NBN,” “Whatever Floats Your Boat,” the unreleased song “Punting the Sweet Fantastic,” and its latest track, “Ant Song,” released at midnight last Thursday.

The band’s music rocked the hall with passionate vocals. Guitarist and vocalist Matthew Hogan, CSOM ’22, had his guitar string break before the band’s final song, but he recovered quickly and told the crowd he was grateful he didn’t forget his backup guitar.

Pop soul band Couch followed Photo Negative, performing renditions of “Toxic” by Britney Spears, and “Conjunction Junction” by Schoolhouse Rock, along with original songs, such as “Stand Up.” 

Juice’s dynamic set, colorfully illuminated and blending rock and hip-hop, debuted Boy Story, its new album, in its entirety

Hogan said that Photo Negative got the opportunity to open the show when they had a lucky encounter with some band members of Juice at a BC football game tailgate. BC Athletics hired Photo Negative to perform at the Family Weekend football game against Missouri on Maloney Lawn, Hogan said.

Photo Negative, has been together since the fall of 2019. Nicholas Straub, bassist and MCAS ’23, remarked on the growth that would accompany the Saturday show. 

“This semester’s been really good for the band because we’re finally able to [perform] more,” Straub said. “It used to be just in basements and with friends we know … we’re in charge of it more—we know what to play.”

Hogan expressed his enthusiasm for the increased visibility he said he hopes follows the Paradise Rock Club show. 

“It’s our biggest crowd to date,” Hogan said. “We usually max 100 people.”

Alongside Hogan and Straub, the band consists of Benjamin Crandall, guitarist, vocalist and CSOM ’23, Éamon Laughlin, drummer and MCAS ’22, and Stephen Ventura, saxophonist and CSOM ’22. 

“As far as next semester goes, because we got the Juice opener, I’m just going to keep reaching out with people I want to open for, play with,” Hogan said. “It’s pretty much a shoot for the moon … the hope is someone to maybe notice our music.”

Featured Images by Stephen Mooney / Heights Staff

December 5, 2021