The Pernice Brothers is one of those bands that doesn’t really change its songs much in concert from the studio recordings. But even though they play the songs pretty much by the numbers, the live performances bring a certain clarity. For one thing, they show that Joe Pernice and his sidemen can recreate that sensation of perfect light indie-pop without the aid of studio tricks. Pernice hits all of those high notes in his breathy tenor, and guitarist Peyton Pinkerton nails all of those great guitar leads and solos. With the guitars cranked a little louder than they are in the studio, the band added a little intensity to the songs.
Joe Pernice jokingly introduced himself as his brother, Bob (who played on the latest album, “Live a Little,” but is not touring with the group), saying that Joe no longer tours. The set included a cover of “The Butcher’s Tale,” a song by the Zombies from their “Odessey and Oracle” record, which Pernice introduced as war protest. Actually, it’s one of the few songs in the rock canon about World War I. An odd choice of a cover, but the Bros. almost made it sound like one of their own tunes.