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The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Juice is in full swing of celebrating ‘Nothing Like a Dream’ EP through jubilant live performances across America

Sam Shipman

Juice was formed in 2013 in Boston, and still, over 10 years later, the six-piece rock band is traveling around North America playing sold-out shows to celebrate their “Nothing Like a Dream” EP.

Juice’s sound is somewhere between rock, pop, and R&B, with each of their songs highlighting their broad scope of sounds, starting in 2018 with a very tightly produced EP titled “Workin’ on Lovin’” featuring four songs that still do a strong job of encapsulating Juice’s energy. 

Juice released another strong EP in 2019 titled “You are Simply Magnificent” and an album in 2021 called “Boy Story,” which makes it feel as if Juice’s sound had a super amped-up production. When the album was released, it was labeled Juice’s debut album. However, in an interview with the Beacon, lead singer Ben Stevens expressed that it felt more like a beefed-up EP. He said that creating an album is difficult since it is challenging to “focus the band’s sound” to create a sizeable coherent project. 

2024’s “Nothing Like a Dream” is the prime example of Juice getting close to finding a sound that showcases each member’s talent. While Stevens and acoustic guitarist and vocalist Kamau Burton said “Nothing Like a Dream” is a collection of songs they simply wanted to release, they are some of Juice’s most fleshed-out tracks.

“Cruelest Thing” is the opening track of the EP. It starts with a burst of life, highlighting the pretty harmony between guitar and violin. Stevens’ vocals chime in with the group harmonizing on the chorus. 

This track was also the opening track at Juice’s release party at Paradise Rock Club on Jan. 20.  Fans in the crowd were ecstatically screaming the chorus along with Stevens as he looked down at the crowd, grinning excitedly. The band warmly welcomed the crowd when the song concluded and thanked them for attending. 

The band played a large list of tracks from their catalog, including the entirety of the “Nothing Like a Dream” EP scattered throughout the setlist. Each song from the new EP exemplified the band’s growth as each member played effortlessly in sync.  

The concert’s highlight was “Stupidfreak,” a ballad from Juice’s 2019 EP. The song features extremely emotional lyrics through violinist and vocalist Christian Rose’s verse, followed by Stevens, Rose, and Burton singing the chorus, with each member of the crowd feeling the pure emotion pouring out of the band. The song concluded with Stevens tenderly saying into the mic, “Thank you, that was special.”   

The second song on the EP, “Becoming a Stranger,” is the most popular. It features a beautiful harmonization with the rest of the band throughout the song. The crowd watched in awe as the band performed this angelic harmonization live. This was their final song before the encore, and the crowd seemed satisfied with the conclusion. 

Regardless of how close Juice is to truly finding their sound, their live performances are masterful examples of capturing their charisma as a collective. Their Paradise Rock Club encore featured  arguably their biggest song, “Audrey Tell Me.” Fans jumped around the venue completely captivated by the powerful stage presence. Stevens expressed how “Audrey Tell Me” and “Workin’ on Lovin’” are some of his favorite songs to perform, saying that “they are magical, it feels like it’s the fan’s song.” 

When fans thought it was over, the grand finish consisted of a loud, surprising, and sprawling cover of “Good Times, Bad Times,” a classic by Led Zeppelin off “Zeppelin II” from 1970. This cover was Juice proving their unique sound and a new angle over a legendary rock classic. 

Juice’s unique sound could partially be credited to some of the member’s influences. Stevens commented that the artists he always comes back to are Big Thief and Radiohead, as each of those bands’ lead singers show their writing abilities through their lyrics. Burton said he was inspired by Stevie Wonder, Jeff Buckley, and Coheed and Cambria. 

They are also a band that triumphs over roadblocks. In February, a few days after the EP release shows, Juice had their equipment stolen, which, if not replaced, would cancel their tour. Thanks to their fans quickly supporting their GoFundMe, they could get back on the road without a hitch. 

“It was amazing seeing our fans rally and support the GoFundMe to get new equipment and keep the tour alive,” Stevens said in an interview with the Beacon.

Juice’s following tour dates celebrating the “Nothing Like a Dream” EP is April 26 in Portsmouth, NH and April 27 in Amherst.    

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About the Contributor
Sam Shipman
Sam Shipman, Assistant News Editor
Sam Shipman (He/Him) is a freshman journalism major from Natick, Massachusetts. He currently is a Staff Writer for the Berkeley Beacon. When he's not reporting he can be found listening to music or spending time with friends.

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