Show Review – iDobi Meltdown Festival

I suppose I should start this review with a bit of disclaimer: before I went to this festival I didn’t really listen to most of the bands on the billet. I mean I listed to a few Diamond Youth songs here and there, I know a handful of I Am The Avalanche songs, I know that one song off Juntura and I think I’ve heard that song about swimming pools by The Front Bottoms. Get ready for a review that is probably going to make some totally weird comparisons between bands.

I can assure you dear reader that this changed after this festival. In fact I’m listening to I Am The Avalanche right now as I typed this review (thanks Spotify!).

But before I delve into the main review which is pulled from the scribblings I made in my little blue notebook between sets I’d lake to take a few words to talk about one of the openers: Diamond Youth. It’s thanks to these Baltimore-based (kinda, more on that later) rockers that I got a photo pass for the festival so they gain they’re own mini write up before the general one. The Meltdown fest marks the third time I’ve seen Diamond Youth and marks the time I finally got into them (I was singing along in the photo pit). When I first saw them I only really knew that they played alt-rock in the style of the 90’s and was made up of members of Trapped Under Ice and Terror (let that one sink in). Being relatively young I didn’t really listen to that much music in the 90’s and in the 00’s I didn’t really listen to 90’s alt rock so they didn’t really inspire me to listen to them that first time.

Fast forward to the iDobi Meltdown Fest. Since I knew that they were going to be my main focus of the evening I figured I’d give them another chance. I played both of the albums front to back and once I heard a song that reminded me a bit of older Jimmy Eat World I knew that I could count myself as a fan of the band. It just took a year and a half and seeing them two times to happen. But it happened. So needless to say when they played I was ready for a good show. Diamond Youth did not dissapoint, it’s like they took everything bad out of the 90’s music scene and left everything good in. 90’s music for a new generation. I had a hard time remembering what band they reminded me of aside from Jimmy Eat World and it wasn’t until they played The Pixies between sets that I knew what band they reminded me of: The Pixies and for one singular reason: the crooning of Justin (if that’s the right word). Dude sure can croon, it sounds great. Being that I know exactly one Pixies song this comparison may be totally off.

To sum it all up: Diamond Youth rocks and you should get into them. Also they’re made of members from Baltimore, Chicago and Richmond. They work hard. Support them.

And now onto the rest of the review. Here’s a hint: I’m going to be using the word Indie a lot and cribbing from the Idobi Meltdown bio page and my hastily scribbled notes.

Continue reading Show Review – iDobi Meltdown Festival

The GK Tour

Okay, I’ve been really busy lately so this mini write up of The GK Tour is a little bit late.

If I can sum up the GK Tour in one word: amazing and sweaty. Okay, two words. By the end I was setting profusely and was covered in more than a few bruises even though I was just taking photos at the show. Aside from some bumping around I had a great time. First up was The Story So Far; a band I have really gotten into recently but had never seen live. Well I saw them live this night and while they weren’t as energetic as some of the other bands (not a lot of movement) they were still very good live. A few stage divers and a crowd surfer or two and a good mix of old and new and they were done. Will see again.

Next up was one of two Boston area pop-punk bands on the tour: A Loss for Words. I’ve seen these guys a bunch of times and they never fail to deliver. Matty (the lead singer) was really into it. Every song bouncing around the stage, jumping, giving the mic to people in the crowd; just what I’d expect from them. At one point he even jumped off the stage (there were no barriers) and right into a crowd where a circle of die hard fans sang their hearts out around him. At one point the mic was lost in the crowd and someone crowdsurfed right into it; annoying a few fans who weren’t used to pop-punk shows apparently. At the very end Joe Boynton of Transit came on stage and did some guest vocals with AL4W. This is a pretty common occurrence when they tour together; though usually it’s the other way around. All in all, great set.

Next up was my favorite band on the tour: Transit (sorry TWY fans). Yes their sound has changed over the past year though I’d say it has become more evolved, more mature. While I still enjoy the harder hitting older albums their new sound is still something that I can enjoy over and over again. Anyways. Transit beat out A Loss for Words and The Story So Far in terms of crowd intensity; not to be seen again until The Wonder Years took the stage. Mic grabs, stage dives, crowd surfing, angry finger pointing, you name it. Transit really knows how to put on an amazing show. They did something this evening that I have rarely seen them do: they jumped. Like yeah Tim will pogo up every once in a while and Joe will bounce around stage but very rarely will Transit get any air. The first time I saw them do it was during the Holiday show in December. Not negative, just very interesting. At the very end they played Stay Home (you know, keep running, keep shining on) and Matty came on stage to do guest vocals. The crowd went nuts (as usual) and Joe ended it with the infamous two finger point into the air which he usually does for Please Head North. Overall my favorite set but only because I love Transit so much.

Next up was Polar Bear Club; which is a band I don’t listen to very much but I really should. Energetic is an understatement for Jimmy Stadt, the lead singer. Bouncing around stage, into the air, swinging the mic cord all around. All while wearing glasses; even Joe takes his off when he plays. Jimmy really got into the crowd, rarely being away from the front of the stage. I wasn’t really a huge fan of PBC before hand but their live performance certainly changed my mind on that.

Last, but certainly not least, was the band that everybody was there to see: The Wonder Years. I shot about half of the first song from the crowd and then decided to scurry away to the balcony to finish shooting the set. This was a very good idea as I was getting some dirty looks from the girls in the crowd who didn’t seem to notice my big honking camera and that I was there in a semi-official capacity. As usual they were insane live and the crowd was in turn quite crazy. Their fans go a little bit crazy, crowd surfing during every single song, singing along to every song (though I did this too). The highlight of the night was a friend of mine crowd surfing with a bag of Sour Patch Watermelons and giving them to Soupy during Won’t Be Pathetic Forever. Speaking of older songs they did play a mix of old and new though Soupy was not very keen on taking suggestions from the crowd.

Overall I throughly enjoyed this show, even if it was a last minute decision on my part to go. If you missed the GK Tour then you missed out. A gallery can been seen after the jump and more photos can be seen here.

Continue reading The GK Tour

3.23.2012 The Barn

The Barn was a nice little venue, provided by a church, in the middle of the woods. It was small, but in a good way. On the other hand it did have a lot of couches, causing the crowd to sit down a lot.

Count to Four, a pop-punk five piece from the Philly/South Jersey area. They were, a little out of place in this show, but still good, if you like a little heavier stuff.

 

Markets and Dwellers is a nice little slow pick me up after a long day of working hard. They also played an fantastic cover of Sugar We’re Going Down. 

Me Equals You is a band from the Maryland/Delaware area. Doing best with what they have, the have managed to get a gathering of folks since August 2011.

Proginal Son is Orion Moses, from Lancaster, Pa. He put on an awesome solo act where him and his guitar rocked out!

Traveling all over the world, and reporting his travels via song, is Shane Palko. His is the nicest guy that you’ll ever meet, and it shows in his melodies, that he creates.

The Last Dinosaur coming from Newark, De, is the catchy music of this band. They put on an interesting live show, with their synth player rocking out and dancing and the lead guitarist and singer Josh Hensley singing with a deep inspiring facial expressions.

View all the photos here

2/2 Squid the Whale w/ The Composure @ Lisa’s Pub, Indian Head, MD.

Ah, finally. My first update all by myself! Aren’t you proud of me?  This update unfortunately was pushed (way) back due to some personal priorities, but it is finally here! Sorry, you’ll find me to be a bit over-enthusiastic sometimes.

Enough with that, though. I had the privilege of covering a band I never thought I’d be able to see live, and also to showcase some local talent as well. For your viewing privilege, all is behind the cut…

Continue reading 2/2 Squid the Whale w/ The Composure @ Lisa’s Pub, Indian Head, MD.

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