Summer is officially here, and with the turning of the seasons means the return of MusicBoxPete's annual Bands of Summer shirtless photo special. An annual feature on the site since 2014, this special showcases a different side of musicians that gives us a peek behind the music, and a glimpse of musicians in a loose and carefree setting that really makes you appreciate them that much more. I'm really proud of this years crop of artists including The Whips, Bradley Lynch from Boston's own Hope For Rain, Nathan Stocker of Hippo Campus, rising country artist Jake Hill, up and comer Mike Sabath, and a special non-music entry from the Northeastern Huskies men's lacrosse team. And without further ado, here is Part 1 of this year's annual rundown:
Kicking off this year's special is Lawrence, KS natives The Whips. The R&B/funk-rock quartet are starting to make some rumbles in the Midwest with their gorgeous and unique sound that is making some people act up whenever they roll through town. The guys are also turning some heads with this photo here that sees them dressed up as firemen, further igniting the flames that even they themselves can't put out. Featured in the photo left to right are: bassist Quinn Cosgrove, guitarist Max Indiveri, drummer Miles Patterson, and keyboardist Max Cooper. The guys have outstanding personalities, swooning rhythms, and will become your new best friends after you stop to chat with them after a show.
Bradley Lynch (Hope For Rain)
A local entry on this year's special coming in from Bradley Lynch, frontman for the local rock outfit Hope For Rain. The band are starting to gain some traction with their shows at Bill's Bar and The Lansdowne Pub to name a few, and are a band who know how to the get the audience involved in between sets. One thing to keep the crowd's attention span is to involve a little nudity, as you see in the above pic as Bradley stripped his shirt off in between sets to keep the energy flowing in between the crowd. A very charismatic and engaging fellow, the band are sure to provide your alcohol fueled nights with carefree moments that you'll treasure for some time to come.
Another newcomer on this year's roundup is rising country artist Jake Hill. Coming in from Georgia, the southern gentleman knows how to facilitate audience involvement through his music, and has a penchant for the great outdoors and all things associated with it. He also has a habit of showing off his ripped physique whenever possible, as you can see from the pic above with his trademark country hat adorned on top. Jake's music evokes his country roots, and with his trademark Southern accent and demeanor you'll fall head over heels for him, and be more than willing to undertake whatever adventure Jake has planned.
Nathan Stocker (Hippo Campus)
Another hot entry coming in from Nathan Stocker, guitarist for the Minnesota based indie powerhouse band Hippo Campus. The band have almost reached cult level superstar status within the indie realm, with performances at many festivals including last summer's In Between Days festival here in Quincy. Things are definitely heating up in their camp, especially with this pic above taken recently of Nathan soaking up some rays after a pickleball match. It's a rarity to catch one of the members without a shirt, and it shows how footloose and fancy free Nathan is and letting in all the attention without a care in the world.
A name that has been popping up recently is NYC based producer/musician Mike Sabath. He also fronts the band Mike Sabath & The Moongirls, known for their funk oriented rock sound that demands movement from the audience and attention from the listener in order to make their sound really come to life. One thing that remains constant is Mike's penchant for constantly showing some skin, as you can see a plethora of it directly above. It's representative of his ability to be in constant contact with the listener, and his desire for them to be close to him at all times that immediately makes both parties comfortable in their own skin literally. He's one person that you'll never tire of seeing or hearing of.
Northeastern Huskies Men's Lacrosse
This year's honorable entry belongs to the Northeastern Huskies men's lacrosse team right out of Boston. The team went on quite a tear this past season, gaining an at-large bid to the NCAA lacrosse tournament for the first time ever thanks to their strong play and tight knit team chemistry that allows everyone to be on the same page. The team decided to let loose and celebrate that achievement by removing all of their shirts, baring all for everyone to gawk and marvel over. Their vibes and energy are definitely at an all time high, and there's no looking away from this pic at all and bring about that energy that will serve them well moving forward as they look to take that next step towards glory.