Audra Lynn Mclaughlin, Nalani & Sarina, and Chestnut Grove Turn MilkBoy into Powerhouse of Sound

Photography by Brittany Salerno

MilkBoy hosted a blasting lineup last Friday evening, featuring Jersey’s own Nalani & Sarina, top 6 finalist of The Voice, Audra Lynn Mclaughlin and Perkiomenville’s hidden treasure, Chestnut Grove.

Nalani & Sarina kicked the night off with their signature sharp and punchy sound. With the exception of Nalani’s fringed bangs, these seemingly identical twins execute a stage presence that is upbeat and soulful, with lyrics that offer insightful perspective to anyone tuning in.

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Nalani and Sarina perform at MilkBoy

Playing up the crowd is an effortless task for this duo as they talk of their musical upbringing and introduce their impending song as a quintessential aspect of “Filipino quinceanera culture.” Cue a ukelele-infused rendition of AC?DC’s Highway to Hell”.

Audra Lynn Mclaughlin followed her very own 6-piece band onto MilkBoy’s cozy stage, playing up a crowd that had followed her journey on NBC’s The Voice. Backed by her band of guitarists, drums and vocalists, the sound produced was simply inaudible. It is unfortunate that the evident talents within this act did not blend well enough to be heard. The power in Mclaughlin’s voice was compromised by the over abundance of sound in such a quaint performing space.

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Audra Mclaughlin performs at MilkBoy

Chestnut Grove, however, left the crowd dancing as they brought the very essence of American roots with a folk-like jive. The crowd was drawn in slowly with a quirky piano and is then led into a natural groove as lead vocalist, Dee Gerhart, exemplifies her bluesy, melodic appeal in Chestnut Grove’s original track, “Angry Beaver”.

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Chestnut Grove performs at MilkBoy

Interweaving instrumental and vocal talents, the band’s musical versatility is commendable in its own right. There is just something to be said about an act that can wear and share the hats of its members and make it work so effortlessly, that even the crowd feels like they are part of show.

Check out our shots from the show in slideshow below!

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