Review: Bayside at The Observatory (9/6/16)

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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.

Review: Tiny Moving Parts at Chain Reaction

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Tiny Moving Parts made their way to Chain Reaction on June 19th, as did I. Prawn was direct support for the show and I made it just in time for their set (thanks, NBA Finals). They kept their set short and sweet, which might just be my favorite kind of set. They brought the energy and got the crowd ready for Tiny Moving Parts to close out the night.

When Tiny Moving Parts started rocking out, the crowd instantly moved closer without being told to. I also want to just say that I love their neon sign that simply says “The Parts!” in red. The crowd was really into the set and started jumping up and down right from the start. The band had crowd surfers and stage divers, both of which are supposedly “banned” from Chain Reaction, but no one seemed to mind. We happened to be right in the midst of a nasty heat wave so I applaud the front of the crowd because they were just going wild in a venue that seemingly only had ceiling fans on. If there was AC on, I definitely couldn’t feel it. The show closed out just before 10:30 (SO EARLY) and it was a blast even though I was only there for two bands. As the set was ending, I walked over to grab a vinyl copy of Celebrate and can’t even begin to describe how well the guys have done with this record. If you get the chance, check these guys out on tour when they come through or near your town.

Review: Night Lights at The Slidebar

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Night Lights played The Slidebar in Fullerton, CA on April 15th. I arrived to see the tail end of Rhythm Over Reason’s set and Night Lights went on right after them. Once Night Lights hit the stage, the room seemed twice as full as it was when I first arrived. The band was great at interacting with the crowd and keeping them engaged for the entire performance.

The band played several of their own songs and a couple of covers during their set, which gave it a perfect blend and wasn’t overdone. Some bands will draw out sets even though they may not have a big enough catalog to do so, which made it nice that Night Lights knew their limits. Of their own songs, some of the stand out were “Stutter,” “Make You Smile,” and their new single, “Childish.” The two covers were Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and Allen Stone’s “Unaware,” which they closed with after being told they had enough time for one more song. I may have flipped that with “Childish,” so they ended with one of their original songs, but the set was still a blast either way.

The band definitely has the potential to grow their fan base and play some bigger venues in the future. They knew how to keep everyone in the room for the whole set and got people dancing and singing along. If you can do those things, you’re doing your live show right.

Show Review: Further Seems Forever At The Roxy

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Further Seems Forever played The Roxy on March 19th. it had been around 13 years since that line up has played together. It was only a three band bill, which seemed perfect for the space. The Roxy has a capacity of 449. And while that may not seem like a lot, it’s still a decent sized venue. Rival Tides and Kids opened for them and it was a show to remember.

Rival Tides was the local LA band in the opening slot. They got the crowd involved and with a new album out in April, they had some new material to play. Kids followed with a slightly different vibe. Instead of a typical rock band, they included flutes and keyboard in their songs to put a twist on it. The venue filled out more as each band played. Once Further Seems forever was setting up, the venue had filled out and the crowd was ready for the final act.

The band came on stage and began to play. The crowd was instantly into it and singing along. While the band has maintained a fan base all these years, they were still humbled and grateful for how many people came out to support them. They had the usual banter that bands do between songs, in which Chad told the crowd how he can lose guitar picks in his beard if he tries to hold them between his teeth like many guitarists do. Jason Gleason ran off stage to grab the opportunity to take a photo of the crowd before starting the next song. The crowd really got into “Pride War” during the set and the band played a cover of “Pagan Poetry” by Bjork.

The highlight of the whole show, though, wasn’t even the music. It was a between song speech about Jon Bunch, who was honored with a show in Santa Ana two days later. The heartfelt speech captivated the audience and it was as if we all knew Jon Bunch personally in that moment. During the final song, the crowd got really into it and closed out the night with some crowdsurfing. Start to finish, the band played an amazing set to celebrate How To Start A Fire.