Emerson graduates rock the (Parker) House

by Beacon Staff • November 15, 2006

The creatures of the stage must become gods as they control your heart, thumping to the bass that reverberates from the speaker you strategically placed yourself near. Your Chuck Taylors hold a new layer of musical residue that you wish not to know the details of.,There are certain components absolutely necessary for a memorable concert.

The creatures of the stage must become gods as they control your heart, thumping to the bass that reverberates from the speaker you strategically placed yourself near. Your Chuck Taylors hold a new layer of musical residue that you wish not to know the details of.

Your ears ring for at least an hour after the show and when you make eye contact with the guitarist, your fleeting instinct is to offer him your first-born. You close your eyes to feel the music envelop you, like a comforting blanket.

Parker House and Theory holds the potential for this elusive "memorable concert" with every one of their performances. The Boston-based band is fluid with energy and charisma, which becomes apparent the second the group takes the stage.

The five-piece band is composed of Emerson alumni Eric-jon Tasker on lead vocals and guitar, Carlos Foglia on lead guitar and vocals, Marcos Valles on drums, vocals and percussion, Andy Wesby on harmonica, keys, and vocals and Colin Lewis on bass.

The members of Parker House and Theory, who were all acting and film majors, have come a long way from their humble "Emerson band" label. In an interview with The Beacon, Foglia explained that PHT began playing the classic college venues, gigging everywhere from the Emerson Cabaret to Starbucks.

The group definitely has moved on from its college-band beginnings, catapulting its way onto the music scene and joining leading names on stage such as G. Love, Dropkick Murphys, Jurassic 5 and 311 this summer.

"I know we're doing the right thing," Foglia says. "The moment when you make eye contact with another member of the band, give a little smile, and think, 'we're actually doing this.' It's an accomplishment and a reality."

This September, PHT won its first Boston Music Award for Best Funk or Jam Band, recognizing the band's prominent talent in the music industry and foretelling possible success in the future. The band still has a way to go before achieving their dreams, though.

"My goal has not changed since day one; I want to play for thousands of people," Foglia says.

PHT's sound is getting harder to classify in an era of sell-outs and one-man shows, but all true reviews need at least three bands to give the reader a "musical vibe." PHT's music is a combination of Maroon 5's catchy lyrics, the harmonics and jazz influences of Blues Traveler and the ability to put on a kick-ass performance, a la The Cat Empire.

The band's two albums, Slide Down (2003) and Soon (2005), are an intense array of musical delight, offering a journey into a new world with every song. "November," off of Soon, is a worthy example of the band's music. The song starts off with the side amps fired and steaming anticipation.

Within seconds, a building drum beat comes through, and then an articulate male voice crashes in. The bass beat carries the tune to a higher level as the intricate guitar segments explode with technique and originality. Suddenly, a sexy Spanish voice emerges over the rusty airwaves.

Live shows are full of Rocky Horror Picture Show-esque excitement, and the band knows how to work the crowd and keep fans coming back for more.

The humor of the band is evident as well. The bios on the band's Web site are written by each other. "He has the ability to heal un-healable illnesses with the natural goodness of his voice," Valles writes about Tasker.

On top of the group's phenomenal musical talent, there is an undeniable chemistry among the members, bound to make you smile and beg for a never-ending encore. A PHT show is an experience for the memory bank.