Bayside is one of those bands that has a pretty solid discography. I especially love it when bands will make use of that and give fans some extra music like Bayside has done with their acoustic albums. Acoustic Volume 2 hit fans’ ears recently and it’s a release that I’m excited about.
I’m a sucker for anything acoustic, which makes this release all the better for me. It kicks of with a fantastic rendition of “Sick, Sick, Sick,” which is an excellent choice for an opening track. It then runs right into “Mary,” which is one of the band’s more recent songs off of Vacancy. The album does a great job with mixing in songs from a wide variety of albums.
The track list of this album is key. It has the feel of a live performance. The band has been known to kick off sets with “Sick, Sick, Sick” and close them with “Devotion and Desire.” Then in the fourth spot you have a song like “Duality,” which is again, consistent with some of their live sets.
The whole feel of this album makes you think you’re in the room with Bayside as they play acoustic renditions of some of their biggest songs. It’s easy for me to get lost in the music when I’m listening to stripped down versions of songs with lyrics as strong as Bayside’s. It’s a treat to get something as personal as this from the band. You just get this sense that you know everything they’ve been through and there’s bound to be something relatable within these songs for anyone who listens to them.
Acoustic Volume 2 is a must-listen for Bayside fans. If you are like me and either love anything acoustic or just left getting something extra from bands you really enjoy, this will be up your alley. Bayside continues to put out solid music, even if it isn’t something entirely new.
Last week, Bayside made their way to Orange County to play at The Observatory. For a Tuesday night, a dedicated group of fans ventured out. The room started to fill up prior to their set, but was still decently filled for Sorority Noise and The Menzingers. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate a three band bill. This gave each band a good amount of time for their sets, with Bayside playing about an hour-and-a-half set. The Observatory was a good-sized venue for the band to play and all three bands sounded great in the room.
Being a fan of all of the bands on a bill is a huge plus for me, while attending the show. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of shows that have five or more bands set to play, so this show felt like the perfect show to attend. Sorority Noise kicked off the show and it’s safe to say that their guitarist had the most energy out of everyone. The band was definitely excited to be on this tour and they let that energy resonate with the crowd. This was even more amplified when The Menzingers came on. I was excited to see them again since I had only seen them one other time before. Fans, as well as myself, had a blast screaming out “I don’t wanna be an asshole anymore” among other great one-liners that you can find in their songs. They played a fantastic set and got the crowd ready for Bayside.
Bayside played a great mix of old and new songs. “I’ve Been Dead All Day” was one of those new songs and it made me happy that they put a focus on the new songs early in their set. Vacancy is an album I really enjoyed this year and I knew they’d be playing songs from it. I just wasn’t sure how they’d incorporate them with their prior releases. The band came out with a ton of energy and it made the performance really enjoyable. I also love how consistent the band has been over their career. It made the setlist flow very well because they didn’t really have those songs that stick out like a sore thumb in the middle of a setlist.
Naturally, the band played fan favorites like “Masterpiece” and dusted off “Just Enough To Love You,” which they apparently hadn’t played in a while. “Masterpiece” was actually one of the first songs I heard from Bayside, and it felt surreal to hear it played live. Having never seen the band, it was a treat to see them play a longer set. At the end, they didn’t waste any time with making the fans wait on the encore. Anthony Raneri came back out to do “Don’t Call Me Peanut” with just his acoustic guitar. They then closed out the show with “Devotion and Desire” as expected. Overall, it was a fun, energetic show and Bayside is a band that makes it easy to sing along with every song they play. They even did a cover of “Mr. Brightside,” which I was not expecting. It’s little things like that, that make a show memorable.
Bayside have had a solid music career and continue it with their latest release, Vacancy. Anthony Raneri has an instantly recognizable voice. As soon as “Two Letters” kicks off, you’re in for heavy lyrics with some upbeat, light music to accompany it. This will be the theme for the majority of the record and it’s completely enjoyable. “I’ve Been Dead All Day” is an instant jam with its joyous/playful vibe. The guitars play a huge part in that, and they’re outstanding throughout the record. They stand out again in the catchy melody during “Mary.” It’s hard to find guitar parts that aren’t pleasant in this record, nor would you want to try to find them. That’s what makes them so great.
Onto the lyrics for a bit, which are quite quotable. “Maybe, Tennessee” is just one example of their heartbreaking lyrics with “And this is my home now, empty and full of ghosts somehow. I thought the wine could chase the past away.” Despite such heavy lyrics, it’s one of my favorites to listen to. It’s easy to keep wanting to go back to this one. To continue with the ghost theme, “The Ghost” comes next. Raneri has a pleading tone throughout the song with lines like “tell me what to do” recurring.
The album closer, “It’s Not As Depressing As It Sounds,” stands out from the rest of the album. With the intro, it’s fairly stripped down with just guitar and Raneri’s voice. Then piano comes in, and it’s close to a minute of just that. It’s easily the least cheerful song musically, and might have some of the heavier lyrics, too. The title is ironic, because this is in fact a sad song. “It’s about things wanted, but not gained yet. ”I’m in no rush to end it, but look at it from my perspective” is a powerful line in a powerful closer. This song wouldn’t have really fit anywhere but here on the album. All around, Vacancy is a solid album and there’s a good chance it’s shooting up some album of the year lists.