Penny & Sparrow captivate Cambridge Reply

By Claire Crittendon– Features Editor

Applause shook The Sinclair as Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke of Penny & Spar- row took the stage on the evening of Sept. 22. The energy in the intimate venue was palpable, heightened by the fact I was right at the front of the crowd.

The lyrics of their opening song, “Cult Classically,” simultaneously revved up and settled energy of the Cambridge lot. Hearing Jahnke’s voice truly find its home during a particularly difficult harmony in the pre-chorus, the line “let me know you” barely contained the raw, youthful energy the song’s message conveyed.

Given the majority of Penny & Sparrow’s set was played with a single acoustic guitar, it made for a serene setting. A major shoutout to the tech crew for assisting in furthering the otherworldly atmosphere through mesmerizing lighting.

This duo’s ability to control a crowd was uncontested, seamlessly conjuring a family from the sea of strangers in the pit. This was highlighted within one of their more popular songs, “Don’t Wanna Be Without Ya,” which had me dancing as if I was a child again.

Demographically, my concert companion and I were among the minority, being the youngest there by a good 20 or so years. The crowd was largely fans who’d been around since Penny & Sparrow’s cultivation in 2011, when they released their debut single, “Creatures.”

Since meeting in their shared time at University of Texas, the pair has released five albums, each better than the last. Their newest, ‘Finch,’ was released Aug. 2, and is home to 11 tracks that will easily bring forth all your emotions.

 

From ‘Finch,’ some highlights played that put their studio recordings to shame were “Eloise” and “Stockholm,” each bringing an emotional, adrenalized charge. Both “Kin” and “Honest Wage” brought a well-received nostalgic energy into the space.

Kicking off their encore was a lovely rendition of “Creatures.” Following the song that sparked their journey, the duo invited their opener, Caroline Spence, back on stage. After congratulating each other on their lovely sets, the three joined for a chilling rendition of “Duet” that will forever burned in my mind.

It warmed my heart to hear Baxter and Jahnke go on to talk about opener etiquette and the consequence of the lack thereof after they played their last song. All too often, concert-goers feel respect is optional for all acts except the headliner. It’s always comforting to see artists who’re starting to establish a name for themselves pay careful attention to the spot they once held, trying to close, not emphasize, the difference in fan following.

 

The Sinclair, is, if you ask me, one of the nicest venues in the area. With a capacity of 525 people paired with many of their shows being accessible for all ages, it resonates warmth with no effort. The staff are friendly and eager to help or simply converse. A bonus, it’s easy to get to from campus utilizing public transit. Some upcoming artists coming to The Sinclair include: Jukebox the Ghost, mxmtoon, Ra Ra Riot, and many more. Tickets are available via sinclaircambridge.com.

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