Best Up-And-Coming Boston Bands To Check Out In 2016

January 7, 2016 6:00 AM

(Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

(Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

(Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Every year, Boston is host to countless bands and solo artists looking for their big breaks. They play the city’s clubs and entertain its denizens, but most fizzle out, leaving scarcely a mark on Boston’s music scene. That is not the case with the following bands. In 2015, these musicians made their marks, creating albums, touring and winning awards. Each group has a flavor of its own, and should be going strong through 2016.

The Drax

The Drax is a fast-paced punk band that is gaining popularity in the Bay State and beyond. Band mates Duggan, Bice, Chip, Chris and Jr manage to capture the city’s popular punk sound while making sure to stand out among the crowd. Fans can find them at favorite Boston venues like the Midway Cafe and Middle East Upstairs. They also travel around New England, hitting spots like Fete Music in Rhode Island and Empire in Maine.

Related: Best Up-And-Coming Boston Bands

Tigerman WOAH

The first thing people notice about Tigerman WOAH is that every band member has impressive facial hair. Even the Red Sox would be jealous of these beards, but it is no gimmick. This upbeat band uses instruments like an upright bass and ukulele, ensuring a sound that breaks from the norm. The band describes itself on its Facebook page as “Appalachian mountain folk/bluegrass influenced punk rock with the occasional hip-hop freak-out.” Whatever that is, it’s working for them.


Nemes is sort of an indie rock boy band with a strong following in Boston. In 2014, Nemes produced its first studio album titled “I Carry Your Heart.” It has elements of rock, country, pop and whatever else band members Chris, Josh, Alex and Dave feel like adding into the mix. The sound is both eclectic and accessible. Songs are available on the band’s website and iTunes, but it’s pretty easy to catch a live show around Boston too.

Never In Vegas

Never In Vegas is a Boston rock/pop band that is in serious demand. Playing all over New England multiple times a month, and even going as far as Florida, NIV is an easy band to see live. One of the coolest things about Never In Vegas is that it has enough energy for nightclubs, but it is also bookable for weddings. This is just the type of versatility that should have Boston keeping an eye on them in 2016. Anyone interested in having them for an event should probably look into it well in advance.

Related: Boston’s Best Local Rock Bands

Speedy Ortiz

Local indie rock band Speedy Ortiz released its second studio album, “Foil Deer,” in 2015. In the only four years since the band began working together, they have come out with multiple EPs as well. The band’s success has pulled them out of Massachusetts to tour all over the country, but fans should be able to catch Speedy Ortiz coming back home every now and then. Keep an eye on their website to see when the band will back in town and to sample some of their music.

Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at