JEFF the Brotherhood at Cafe Nine, New Haven


If we are being honest, Cafe Nine is a dive bar. It has a low stage, a low maximum capacity, and low lighting (just ask our photographer, Audra). Despite all that, it books some pretty major bands. The latest was JEFF the Brotherhood. But while JEFF the Brotherhood may have agreed to play there, they did not agree to be happy about it.

All three bands on the show were touring bands. Opening band Lemuria seemed happy enough to be there. They ran through their set of 90s-esque girl rock showing shades of bands like Veruca Salt and the Pixies. They were effusive with their praise of the crowd (however not packed it was for the opening band).

Second band, Hunter seemed a little less excited to be there. Up until the second the band started to play, singer Isabel Almeida was on her phone checking Facebook. Once the music started though, she was all in. Her stage presence was a clinic in limberness. She performed high kicks, contortionist-esque bends while writhing on the ground, and almost cheerleader-like dancing. The music, however, seemed like an odd pairing with Lemuria and JEFF the Brotherhood. Hunter can best be described as art-rock. Almeida does not really sing as much as moan, yell, and talk. Singing is largely done by guitarist Derek Watson. The combination of the two sounded similar to X.

When JEFF the Brotherhood hit the stage, they were already dismayed at the small stage and the half-filled venue. Seconds into their first song as a smoke machines “set the mood,” the microphones began to squeal and the look on Jake Orrall face said it all. The sound was quickly remedied but then midway through the band’s third song Jake’s guitar stopped working. After a decent amount of fiddling around on his part, the culprit was found out to be his flanger pedal. The band played one more song as a duo before inviting up an additional guitarist and keyboardist. Once a four-piece the band played three songs before having a long conference as a band. The brothers Orrall gathered together and discussed how they planned to handle the rest of the show. It seemed every song Jamin suggested, Jake shook his head as if saying “lets not prolong this.” Finally when Jake stepped back to the mic he announced, “we’re gonna play three more songs.” To give credit where credit is due, they were three great songs. The four piece version of JEFF the Brotherhood did a fair amount of jamming mostly showcasing Jake’s shredding ability.

The most extended jam of the night was the closing song but it was not overly long. The oddest part was the second guitarist was still playing and drummer Jamin got up and started attempting to exit the stage. Jake seemingly had to work as a liaison between the two men to make sure everyone knew the set was now over. But despite the seemingly odd attitude of the band, the set was quite solid–filled with stoner jams that everyone in the crowd was slowly headbanging to. If only they seemed more excited to be there it would have been a perfect night.