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When I walked into the Upstairs room at the Middle East, I was less than surprised to see how many people already filled it for this smartly put together show. Opening the night was Fox Vibes, an instrumental rock band from Leominster MA that totally fit the vibe with sounds similar to bands The Fall of Troy. Following that was the groove rock band Rare Futures, who definitely had my attention right off the bat with their melodies and harmonizing. Headlining the show was newly formed Nova Charisma, a music project started by Donovan Melero (Hail the Sun, formerly Sianvar) and Sergio Medina (Royal Coda, formerly of Stolas) that released a handful of songs and an EP called Exposition II this year. I've enjoyed every project the two of them have been apart of in the past, and I certainly have not been disappointed so far. My expectations for a great live show were also met, with Donovan's energy as electric as ever. They played their new releases, many of which most of the room already knew all of the words to, and Sianvar fans even got a treat by getting to hear the group play "Substance Sequence." I feel lucky to have been able to witness their first set of shows! If you have not already heard it, make sure to check out Exposition II, it's worthy of one of those end-of-year top lists for sure.
Photo and review by Janelle Marie