Yale’s own Jamestown, The First Town in America opened the final night of Elm City PopFest at Café Nine.
The seven members were crammed on stage, forming a cluster of melodic energy that projected beautifully crafted songs and perfectly synchronized melodies. When the lead singer twisted his face to belt out each word, he seemed to be reaching deep inside himself to deliver the poetic lyrics that soulfully rolled off his tongue. Every solo was moving; every harmony, heartfelt. Jamestown was definitely the best band I’ve seen at the PopFest in all four nights.
Next up was the Novels, who presented a vintage mix of playful sixties pop and the hard rock of the early seventies, but with an original spin. The performance was powerful instrumentally; the quartet had a great liveliness and a visible chemistry that made them stand out from the other bands I had seen. They were theatrical and engaging, and the drummer was a raging madman — I loved it. Their only misstep was in the quality of the lead singer’s voice. It was too soft, lacking assertiveness, at times, out of tune. It simply did not mesh with the dynamic nature of the music.
The Caveman Go, a fun pop rock group, played an upbeat set that had the crowd dancing. And Boy Genius? They were great too.
The last night was a good night.