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From bubblegum rock to bluegrass, Porchfest fills Brookline streets with music

Girl Sküll performs at Brookline Porchfest on Saturday, Sept. 30. Photo by Madi Koesler
October 3, 2023

This story was published in collaboration with Meghan E. Irons’ Reporting in Depth class at Boston University’s College of Communication.

Brookline’s annual Porchfest flooded the town with music around every corner on Saturday as the community joined together to dance in the streets.

Porchfest featured over 100 bands from Eliot Street all the way north to Osborne Road, playing genres ranging from bubblegum rock to bluegrass and country swing.

At 86 Verndale St., Girl Sküll performed as a crowd swayed and danced along the sidewalk. The punky, “mature in age, not behavior” girl group of four women over 50 screamed songs focused on denouncing the patriarchy and honoring famous female icons like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Girl Sküll has performed at various Porchfests and festivals across Brookline and Boston since they formed at a ladies’ rock camp in 2018. They found their way to Brookline’s Porchfest through a longtime friend, Nancy, whose home they performed at.

“Our lead singer Grace is an old friend with Nancy and Nancy’s partner for like 30, 40 years, so they had us at their porch after Grace cajoled them a lot — it’s been great,” said Pamela McAnulty, Girl Sküll’s bass guitarist.

From kids covering the streets with chalk art to sharing apple cider and brownies, Porchfest brought the streets of Brookline to life.

“I think my favorite part about Porchfest is just seeing all the people in the community come out to have a great time together, especially seeing how much fun all of the kids were having enjoying the music and playing together,” said spectator Dina Zimmerman.

Photos: Click through the slideshow to see more shots from performances across Brookline

  • Kids listen while Ricardo Barraza plays during Brookline Porchfest. Photo by Sean Young