Hard-working protest punk troubadour Bryan McPherson spent the better part of December touring eastward from his adopted homeland of California to his original homeland of Boston, Massachusetts, and he’s spent the better part of the past few weeks headed back to the West Coast. Early on the post-inauguration leg of the tour, he rolled through The Thirsty Turtle in yours truly’s original hometown of Nashua, New Hampshire. It probably goes without saying that the present administration is going to require — and inspire — a great deal of fiery protest literature and music and art. McPherson has been a thorn in the side of the status quo for many years now (you may recall his being banned from performing at Disney-owned locations a couple years back while opening for Dropkick Murphys), though his words take on added gravity now.
On the morning of this particular show, women (and the men and children who love them) took to the streets in overwhelming numbers (including an estimated 175,000 in nearby Boston) to protest the policies of the sexist, racist Cheeto-In-Chief, making the firebrand McPherson’s performance a perfect bookend. With little fanfare amidst an intimate but attentive crowd, McPherson ripped through a set comprised mostly of tracks from his last couple full-length albums, 2015’s Wedgewood and 2012’s American Boy, American Girl.
Direct support was provided on this night by The Radiator Rattlers, a “cow-punk rock and roll” band from Haverhill, Massachusetts. The raucous seven-piece wasted little time between songs, instead blazing through a high-energy set forty-five-ish minute set that closed with a rather spontaneous, crowd-inspired cover of the Fear classic “I Love Living In The City.”
Nashua-based tattoo-artist-turned-one-man-band Nick The Barbarian played his typical booze-fueled set of songs about songs about ass-kicking debauchery and murdering the Westboro Baptist Church. His set is a lot of fun, although there was roughly an hour between show-opener Berten Lee’s finger-picked folk punk set and that of the Barbarian, all-but killing whatever sort of momentum had been building for the five-act show (a Massachusetts-based acoustic duo called Hometown Eulogy also played, and though they’re enjoyable, they’re more along the lines of Woodstock-era folk and not included in this particular story), though the Rattlers and McPherson certainly brought the intensity back late in the evening.
Check out the full photo galley below.