Neighbor Celebrates ‘Five Years’ With Debuts, Rarities & More To Open Soundcheck Studios Residency

Watch and listen to the full concert featuring debut covers of David Bowie’s “Five Years” and The Beatles’ “In My Life.”

By Scott Bernstein Feb 22, 2024 11:34 am PST

Neighbor kicked off a five-week residency at Soundcheck Studios in Pembroke, Massachusetts on Tuesday night commemorating their fifth anniversary. The Boston-based jam quartet worked David Bowie and The Beatles cover debuts into the setlist along with a few bust outs, a tribute to one of Neighbor’s most devoted fans, a new original and more.

The band comprised of keyboardist Richard James, guitarist Lyle Brewer, bassist Dan Kelly and drummer Dean Johnston was birthed out of a weekly 2019 residency at Thunder Road in Somerville. Soundcheck Studios has served as Neighbor’s home base after Thunder Road closed. Fittingly, the four-piece premiered a take on David Bowie’s “Five Years” to start the show and residency on Tuesday.

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The two-slot was filled by “Southpaw,” a Brewer-penned instrumental that had only been played once since the Thunder Road days on July 3, 2022 — a gap of 111 shows. An expansive “Thunder Island” followed. The frequently played number was given the jam treatment and spanned over 37 minutes. Next came another Thunder Road shoutout via “Somerville Shuffle” ahead of a set-closing “Why I Like You.”

Neighbor honored longtime fan Sonya Jefferson, who was celebrating her 50th birthday, to open the second set. “High Five Gauntlet” was reworked as “Sonya Gauntlet” and led into the band’s first “Happy Birthday To You” performance since February 18, 2020. The ensuing “Stranger Part Of Town” gave the quartet another chance to stretch out. An additional surprise came next as Neighbor dusted off their version of Doc Watson’s “New River Train” last played on December 6, 2022.

The show continued with fan-favorite “Crashing Down” featuring teases of “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and “Happy Birthday To You.” From there, Neighbor looked to the future by unveiling new original “On The Mend” before diving deep into “Move Along Little Jimmy” complete with a drum solo from Johnston. The band picked “Headrush” to wrap the frame.

An emotional encore featured an instrumental cover of The Beatles’ “In My Life.” The Neighbor debut began with Kelly playing the song solo before the rest of the band joined in.

Neighbor returns to Soundcheck Studios on Tuesday, February 27. Watch video of the full show and a different fan-captured angle of the first set below along with a soundboard matrix recording taped by Mike Bogigian:

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Setlist (via NeighborTunes.net)

Set One: Five Years[1], Southpaw, Thunder Island, Somerville Shuffle, Why I Like You

Set Two: High Five Gauntlet[2] > Happy Birthday > Stranger Part of Town[3], New River Train, Crashing Down[4], On The Mend[5], Move Along Little Jimmy[6] > Dux > Move Along Little Jimmy, Headrush[7]

Encore: In My Life[8]

Footnotes:

  • [1] First time played (David Bowie).
  • [2] Sonya gauntlet!
  • [3] Lonely Rider tease and Tom Papp quote.
  • [4] Pure Imagination (Willy Wonka) and Happy Birthday teases.
  • [5] Debut.
  • [6] High Five Gauntlet, Crashing Down, and Pine Tree teases.
  • [7] Into The Sun and Negative Space teases.
  • [8] First time played (The Beatles). Instrumental.
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