Our favorite Boston band, Gentlemen Hall, got back to their Beantown roots and played a packed Hard Rock Cafe Tuesday night. After spending most of the month of April on the road for their Spring Fling tour, the boys have returned to Boston and kicked off the summer concert season with a rocking performance sponsored by WFNX and Dunkin Donuts. The synth-pop sextet born in the hallways of Berklee College have been everywhere in the past year. Last June, they had a rousing performance on live national television as winners of the regional Battle of the Bands at the Billboard Music Awards. They then went on to tour the country for the summer and early fall, before returning to the Bean just in time to win a couple Boston Music Awards, including Pop Rock Artist of the Year. The whirlwind has not stopped there, however, as the Gentlemen were selected to be part of the in-store playlist at Hollister stores nationwide for the holiday season, were part of a top-trending Windows phone Youtube commercial, and had their single, “All Our Love,” featured on an episode of the CW’s “90210.”
With Tuesday’s “Local Exposure” free WFNX performance, the guys sounded better than ever, debuting a couple brand new songs to a super dancey crowd whose enthusiasm brought the boys out for an encore.The group is currently working on material for their next album, and we can’t wait to hear more from this super talented group. Go Gentlemen Hall!
And so, another year has passed in Hollywood East, and with it, a ton of projects, developments, and other news items that captured our interest throughout 2011. Let’s take a look back at what made headlines in Hollywood East over the past year.
A bevy of big budget productions pranced their way through the Bay State, bringing with it a steady stream of big name stars. I Don’t Know How She Does It brought Sarah Jessica Parker, Christina Hendricks, and “Cheers” alum, Kelsey Grammar. Ted brought Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and Seth MacFarlane. Here Comes the Boom brought Kevin James, Salma Hayek, and Henry Winkler. I Hate You Dad brought Adam Sandler, Adam Samberg, and Leighton Meester. And finally, R.I.P.D. brought Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, and Kurt Russell.
We were excited to see all the films that debuted this year that filmed in Boston in whole or in part in the past year or two. Films like The Zookeeper, Moneyball, I Don’t Know How She Does It, and What’s Your Number showed movie-goers across the country why the Bay State makes such a beautiful backdrop for major motion pictures.
There were also updates on the state of the MA film tax credits, with some changes taking place. The Office of Travel and Tourism took over the responsibilities previously looked after by the Massachusetts Film Office, with Lisa Strout taking over for Nick Paleologos.
In more disappointing news, it seems the Plymouth Rock Studios project has been put on permanent hold.
Culled from our own backyard, we spoke to local stars of film, TV, and music. Brighton-based band Gentlemen Hall made us lend an ear and a cheer as we watched these talented youngsters make their live national television debut on the Billboard Music Awards.
We were lucky enough to get invited to a sneak peak of the Footloose remake, and got to talk to home-grown star, Kenny Wormald on how he brought a little bit of Boston to the new version of this 80s cult classic.
Reality TV continues to make headlines year after year. In 2011, we watched with excitement the adventures the infamous “Deathwish Movers” went through each week, and cheered on local stars on “Top Chef: Desserts”, “Chopped”, and the “Expedition Impossible” who did New England proud. The genre even inspired the hilarious web-series, “Real Housewives of South Boston”, which we sincerely hope to see more of in 2012!
The culinary world even captured our attention, with it’s Hollywood East Connections. Our favorite homeboy, Mark Wahlberg, surprised us all by venturing into the culinary world, opening the aptly named Wahlburgers in Hingham. “Hell’s Kitchen” star, Jason Santos, opened Blue Inc., and “Top Chef; All Stars” contestant, Tiffany Faison, opened the ever so cutely named BBQ spot, Sweet Cheeks.
These are just a few of the fabulous and fascinating stories that kept us connected in Hollywood East this year. Here’s hoping 2012 brings with it more excitement in TV, movies, and music across the New England states!
It’s been a busy year for the Brighton-based band, Gentlemen Hall. They recently filmed their biggest music video to date in Boston, “All Our Love”, enlisting the help of their fans as extras and even a helicopter, right on the heals of a Boston Music Awards nomination for Video of the Year with “Close to Me”. The group was also featured in Billboard Magazine, and are currently occupying a spot on the Hollister in-store playlist at stores nationwide for the next few months, right alongside names like Tom Petty, KT Tunstall, and the Beach Boys.
Bass player Rory Given, who, along with lead singer Gavin McDevitt, originally hail from the Cleveland, Ohio area, remarked on the band’s exciting ride.
“It’s been a wild year full of a lot of highs but we are probably most proud to have finished and released our album, “When We All Disappear”. It’s taken us a long time to get to the finished product but the songs turned out just right. We’re also proud to have the Boston community hailing us as an influential part of the local scene. This city has given us so much and feeling like we’re giving something back is awesome,” said Given.
Given, along with McDevitt, Jacob Michael on guitar and vocals, Bradford Alder on synthesizers, and Phil Boucher on drums, first got together when they were all students at Berklee College of Music. It wasn’t too long into it before they were joined by Seth Hachen on flute when he spontaneously performed with them at a local house party. Since then, the group has gone on to build a strong core following, gaining recognition in the summer of 2009, when the band received MTV’s “Best Break Out Artist” Award. Later that year, the Boston Phoenix named Gentlemen Hall “Boston’s Best New Band”.
Earlier this year, Gentlemen Hall was one of three area bands who competed via social media-following to represent the northeast in a national Battle of the Bands. As winner of the regional competition, the band packed up a Chevy Cruze lent to them from the sponsor of the contest, and departed Brighton to road-trip it to Las Vegas and compete as one of the six finalists from various regions in the U.S. The band went on to win the competition, and with it, the opportunity to perform live on the Billboard Music Awards on ABC, catapulting them to a level of exposure and opportunity that any unsigned band would dream of.
What has been the most surprising thing that has happened to the band this year? Among the highs have come a lot of learning experiences, as the band has been exposed to a greater national audience through touring various venues with Billboard.
“Having shoes thrown at us for playing flute on the streets of San Francisco. Or having donuts thrown at us for dressing like hipsters in Des Moines,” said Given on some of the new experiences the band shared.
What’s most remarkable about the band, however, has been that in spite of their string of successes, they’ve managed to stay grounded. Among their list of achievements this year? “Seth finally achieved his dream of being able to dunk,” joked Given.
Gentlemen Hall will be performing at the Boston Music Awards at the Liberty Hotel on November 20th.
★ Connecticut native, Michael Bolton, makes a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” and follows with a performance on “Dancing with the Stars.”
★ Kristen Wiig talks about working with Jill Clayburgh on her last film before she passed away in Connecticut late last year.
★ Brighton-based band Gentlemen Hall amidst the gossip at the Billboard Music Awards.
If you haven’t heard of Gentlemen Hall, get ready, because they’re about to explode. What started in the noisy dormitory halls of Boston’s Berklee College of Music and grew to become a popular local band is now about to make their national debut at the Billboard Music Awards with a live performance tonight on ABC as winners of a national Battle of the Bands.
Last month, Gentlemen Hall was one of three area bands who competed via social media-following to represent the northeast. As winner of the regional competition, earlier this week, the band packed up their Chevy Cruze, a car lent to them from the sponsor of the contest, as they departed Brighton to road-trip it to Las Vegas and compete as one of the six finalists from various regions in the U.S. On Thursday night, they were declared the winner of the competition by the evening’s MC, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath (a Hartford, CT native, who was recently spotted at the aquarium in Boston earlier this month buying Whalers gear as well as taking in a Bruins game at the TD Banknorth Garden), and others from the Billboard music community. The synth-pop band, which met at Berklee, will now be playing before a national stage as thousands of people across the country tune in to the live awards show.
“It’s been a wild ride out here in Vegas. It’s still a bit of a shock but we’re amped to make a national debut. It’s important for us that people recognize Boston has one of the greatest music scenes in the world and we’re just one small part of it. Being out here is an awesome opportunity to bring a slice of that scene to national television. We’re repping our hometown hard,” said bassist Rory Given.
Its been a wild past fews years for the close-knit band. In the summer of 2009, the band received MTV’s “Best Break Out Artist” Award. Later that year, the Boston Phoenix named Gentlemen Hall “Boston’s Best New Band”. The following year, the boys released their debut CD, “Give Us Roots Give US Wings.” And in December of 2010, the band received a nomination at the Boston Music Awards.
Gentlemen Hall is made up of Given, Jacob Michael (guitar, vocals), Bradford Alder (synthesizers), Gavin McDevitt (guitar, vocals), Seth Hachen (flute), and Phil Boucher (drums). They Billboard Music Awards airs tonight (Sunday) at 8 p.m. on ABC. The Gentlemen are set to perform after Ke$ha and before Lady Antebellum, so make sure you tune in and cheer the guys on.
On behalf of everyone at Hollywood East Connection, we wish the band the best of luck!
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