Sammy Rae Fills Boston’s Royale with Brass and Joy

In 2020, Sammy Rae & the Friends had an identity crisis. They were scheduled to go on tour to celebrate their new songs starting in March. We all know what happened in March.

The band members felt torn. How do they make money? How do they connect to their fans?

These struggles, questions, and heartbreak set the stage for an insane, revival party with the Friends’ on Saturday. No joke. Sammy even says all this as she plays the opening piano chords to “Let’s Throw a Party.”

Photo Credit: Connor Lewis

One of the cooler things that Sammy Rae and her band pulled off was that 80% of audience members had never been to a show before. The band grew their reach entirely online during the pandemic. 

Now they’re finally in person, with everyone who sent in their virtual love. And the unbridled joy that comes on their faces as the audience sings the lyrics and finds every opportunity to scream, “WE LOVE YOU SAMMY” in between songs is priceless.

But let’s say you don’t care about their story. And you don’t even know their music. You’re still going to catch yourself dancing and smiling.

Photo Credit: Connor Lewis

The set started with Sammy on piano. Sixty seconds later, the whole band is on stage, in glitter, sporting incredible energy & musical abilities.

Everyone’s a star in a Sammy Rae & the Friends concert. One-minute, back-to-back solos from every member of the band happened three separate times. The drummer, Seabass, brought each of these sections through a sonic journey, while causing the audience to shake their booties.

Photo Credit: Connor Lewis

Notably, the band used dramatic silences a lot. At one point, Sammy even shushed the crowd in the middle of a song, just to blast everyone with two saxophones a few seconds later.

She also took some time during her set to speak on solidarity for queer folk. “If you’re not queer or an ally, then you might be in the wrong room. There’s a lot of love in here, maybe you might change your mind.” The crowd roared in approval.

Encores are unique for every artist, but Sammy’s was surprising. She got back on stage, after many cheers and stomps, with a banjo. Then, her guitarist & keyboardist harmonized with her on an acoustic version of “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake. Of course, she played “Kick it to Me” immediately after and sent everyone home with sore feet.

There’s a really wholesome, yet rampant energy at a Sammy Rae concert. It’s one of a kind. Don’t miss it. Tickets here.

Photo Credit: Connor Lewis

Leave a Reply