Live Review: Everybody rocks out when Jay Som, Stef Chura, and Soccer Mommy play Cambridge

Seeing a triple bill of Jay Som, Stef Chura, and Soccer Mommy at a venue like The Sinclair for less than $20 felt like an absolute steal. Between the amazing music and attentive crowd, last Tuesday’s show (September 19) was one of the most solid gigs that has come through town in some time, with all three poised for eventual headlining status at larger rooms.

Soccer Mommy, the New York-based project led by guitarist and vocalist Sophie Allison, kicked off the show, dispelling any notion of an “opening act.” Accompanied by a full band, Allison’s tender tunes were flushed out and took on an even grander quality than heard on her newest record, Collection. Songs like “Inside Out” and “Try” struck hard with honest lyrics and infectious hooks embellished with ambient textures, almost like some sort of bedroom power-pop. And as her band stepped off for the last two songs, it confirmed the strength of the songs on their own when delivered by a solo Allison.

Stef Chura’s latest release may be temporarily off Spotify/Apple but streams on through off Bandcamp, but it seemed to matter little when their devoted fans were locked in from the start. The Detroit singer/guitarist, backed by a tight rhythm section, was on point with the trio’s melodic garage rock style. While a song like “Messes” stands out live, it was Chura’s wide vocal range that was most impressive. With any luck, the Bandcamp issues will soon be resolved for those not fortunate enough to experience the songs live.

Headliner Jay Som, led by Oakland-based songwriter Melina Duterte, provided an immense end to a stacked bill. Their set was dense and dynamic, blending angular-yet-atmospheric arrangements with an approachable air. Duterte and Co. were ebullient as ever, and appeared to be enjoying themselves as much as any fan. And while the group has technical skills, every song was economical and deliberate. Sampling, reverb, and solos never felt like overkill; in particular, “The Bus Song, “One More Time, Please,” and “Turn Into” were exceptional.

Not one group on this bill could have been accused of phoning it in on this evening, even as the show fell on a Tuesday. Their sets were complementary, and their energy electric across the board; from start to finish it proved a refreshing series of music by strong women in an atmosphere of inclusiveness.

All photos by Nick Calvino for Vanyaland.