Sunday, January 27, 2008

Looking Back-Concert Reviews

Looking Back

Now that’s what I Call a Winter Break!
By: Keaton

For most people, the winter holidays mean staying at home, relaxing with family, or playing with the new sidekick lx that was waiting for them underneath their Christmas tree. I, instead, spent my winter holidays at four holiday tours.

My first was the kick off of The Receiving End of Sirens and As Tall As Lions' holiday tour on December 16th in Providence, RI. Originally, the first date was at Toad's Place in CT, but due to some lovely winter weather- aka 10+inches of snow- the first day was cancelled. Though it was unbearably cold outside, the ambiance in The Living Room was warm like some fresh baked holiday treats. The local opener was notable, though a bit poppy for the other bands playing. Therefore I Am, and TREOS's performances reminded me what being at a show, in a crowd, with people that listen to music, not 12 year olds that stare at Gabe Saporta's crotch, is like. There was a cloud of adrenaline surrounding the pit that I haven’t been a part of in so long I almost forgot what it was like. As for As Tall As Lions; I had previously heard their live set on the AP tour and was utterly disgusted by a noise filled, music less set. One of my friends with me was a huge ATAL fan, and she kept insisting that I give them another chance, and actually watch, not just listen to them play. They all pick up their instruments and play, and it is pure hilarity. Musically, they were actually musical, and presence wise, I was folded in half with laughter. The bassist plays like a raptor and Kuzco from the emperor's new groove fused. The keyboardist is one of those people that just look so into the music and passionate about it, like a 3 year old is for the first five minutes of playing with a happy meal toy. The drummer looked like a geek squad technician. The singer looked like he fell asleep on the floor of a bar. Only the guitarist looked somewhat normal, which just added to it all. To say the least, I was pleased and amused.

My next show on the holiday extravaganza was the opening date for the Anthony Green, Envy on the Coast, The Dear Hunter, Days Away tour, at Harper's Ferry in Allston MA. Days Away opened acoustically with a 12 string and a 6 string guitar, and occasionally this random guy who drummed for someone on the tour would make an appearance. Next came The Dear Hunter who was just Casey playing acoustic. His voice was so powerful that it felt like he was digging back into his past, bringing back every emotion he felt during the creation of every song, and shared it with everyone in the audience. Next was Envy on the Coast, the only band to play an electric set. After 5 songs or so, Ryan looks at the clock, turns to Brian, then to the crowd and says "We have 2 songs left, and 38 minutes until our set is over...". They ended up playing a 13 song set, including the first electric show performance of Lapse. Finally, the man of the night, Anthony Green strolled out onto a stool in the middle of the stage with an acoustic guitar. Before playing, he put down his guitar, and went and shook all the hands he could reach in the front of the crowd, thanking everyone for coming, for caring, and for staying in after Envy. Then he perched himself back on the stool, and proceeded to just be amazing. His voice is soothing and mesmerizing, live, recorded, when he is talking, when he is yelling, even when he is staring at someone, and letting his eyes do the talking. I honestly, 100%believe, in his musical genius.

The following day, December 27th, I set out to Jersey to visit my dear friend Bex, and catch some more shows, the first being another date of the Anthony Tour. The second night was good, but nothing could top the 26th.

On the 29th was Patent Pending's annual holiday show at the Backdoor in Nyack, NY with Jet Lag Gemini, and Sexy Heroes in Tranist. When SHIT (lawl), and Patent Pending played, it was like 2003 pop punk city all over again, complete with jumps, and the cheerful anthem 'Cheer Up Emo Kid'. Mainly, I was there to see Jet Lag Gemini, whose debut album Fire the Cannons came out on January 22nd. They were great, though I wish they had played Doctor,Please.

The 30th was the fifth and final show of my holiday tour extravaganza, at Tink's in the Electric City, Scranton PA to see Valencia, Four Year Strong, and The High Court on the Festivus for the Rest of Us tour. Tink's was an adorable venue, though it was obviously more of a bar than a place for live music. JB from the High Court struggled through Alien but the band still sounded one million times better than the local opener, Motionless in White. Four Year Strong brought a dimension to their music that isn’t possible on their album, really proving that they have found the perfect mix of hardcore and pop/punk/rock. Valencia, since the last time I saw them in august, have just kept on getting better and better, and really captivated my attention; really exciting me for their future as a band.

So as you read this on that now month old LX, make a note with some New Years’ resolutions, one of which being to see more live music, because there is just talent everywhere....except maybe in the Whorror*.

*Motionless in White's album.

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