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Berklee band entertains a disappointed Romney crowd

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What do you play for a room full of people who’ve just lost a presidential election? “Like Hall & Oates and Stevie Wonder,” explains Eytan Nicholson, the leader of Sweet Tooth and the Sugarbabies, the band of current and former Berklee College of Music students who performed at Mitt Romney’s election festivities at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center Tuesday night. “No matter what’s going on, it’s happy music that everybody knows and likes.” Nicholson explained to us on Wednesday that his band got the election-night gig because they’ve played for the former governor twice before. They played a wedding years ago, and the best man wound up being one of Romney’s top campaign staffers. “They needed a band that could kind of put some life into Super Tuesday originally. We showed up and got some people dancing and had some fun.” Nicholson said it’s a unique challenge to play an election night party that could turn into a massive celebration — or a night of mourning. Once it was clear that Romney had lost the race, they keep the music upbeat, but within reason. “Later in the evening we had to stay away from songs that had certain connotations. Like ‘Celebration’ or ‘Tonight’s Gonna Be a Good Night.’ . . . They didn’t want it to be awkward. They still wanted entertainment.”
For the record, Nicholson says the Sugarbabies are not a political band. He had nice things to say about both candidates, and said he would have been honored to play for either of them. “I didn’t vote at all,” Nicholson said of his own politics (or lack thereof). “I’m literally not political.” Nicholson said he expects there to be more celebratory dancing at the band’s next big gigs. Sweet Tooth and the Sugar­babies play the Newbury Street and Faneuil Hall tree lighting ceremonies on Nov. 13 and 17.

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