Third Class at The Knox

Third Class performed in the Knox Building of downtown Youngstown on Saturday night. The group has been together since 1999.
Third Class performed in the Knox Building of downtown Youngstown on Saturday night. The group has been together since 1999.

Saturday evening at the Knox Building, located on Federal Street, quirk-pop trio Third Class headlined a free show.

Third Class comes from Columbiana County. Many of the shows the band has played were located in Youngstown.

“The music is based in Youngstown,” said Third Class front-man Lee Boyle. “We’re always around here.”

Third Class has been together since 1999. The group consists of Lee Boyle on guitar, keyboard and lead vocals, while Jack Boyle and Pepe Parish switch out on bass/vocals and drums. Together they have put out two full-length albums and an EP.

Instrument changes were made throughout Third Class’ set. Jack Boyle and Parish switched their positions as drummer and bassist amid transition between songs. Lee Boyle did the same with his guitar and keyboard.  This allowed for the playing of stylistically varying songs.

“I like this venue a lot,” Lee Boyle said. “The atmosphere is made by who’s here. We were excited to take over for the night.”

Lee Boyle explained the transition of musical influence from Third Class’ conception to where they are now.

“I always like to say Pink Floyd [influenced us],” Lee Boyle said. “But as we’ve gotten older, we’ve definitely gotten more into pop music.”

The group stated that The Knox is a venue suitable for their musical style.

“It is a really dead sound [the acoustics],” Lee Boyle said. “It is a very two-dimensional, papery sound.”

A bond of brotherhood unites Third Class. Lee and Jack Boyle are siblings. Parish is a dear friend of the Boyles, and the two consider him a brother as well.

The subject matter of songs written by Third Class often deals with childhood. This is emphasized by the visuals presented in the music videos they produce and lyrics sung during their set.

“You begin to care about lyrics when you get older,” Lee Boyle said. “Two of us went to school to study English.”

Members of the band often submit written work to various literary outlets. They have been published in poetry journals, The Penguin Review and many other papers across the country.

“I think Youngstown’s music scene is very strong, but small,” Lee Boyle said. “It seems like the people that like music are really, strongly rooted. I see a lot of the same faces at any show you go to.”

Opening acts for the evening were the Wooster folk-rock band Oil Horse and Youngstown’s psychedelic dream-pop group Sleep Projections.

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