The “Out with the In Crowd” tour didn’t kick off in New York City, but one of its first stops hit CMJ Music Marathon at the 700-person Highline Ballroom in Manhattan. Featuring rotating co-headlining slots between Senses Fail and Bayside with support from Pennsylvania natives Title Fight and Balance and Composure, the lineup is one of the fall’s finest punk-based tours.
Balance and Composure played first, in front of a fairly small crowd. The band stuck to material from their latest split with Tigers Jaw and their most recent EP, Only Boundaries, tossing in a brand new song (“Separation”) in the process. The five-piece, featuring lead vocals from guitarists Jon Simmons and Andrew Slaymaker, executed well during their six-song setlist. Undoubtedly paying tribute to pioneers like Mineral and recent acts such as Brand New, the band stands on their own, as well: Balance and Composure deliver their songs with refreshing integrity and urgency.
I Can’t Do This Alone
Show Your Face
Title Fight opened with The Last Thing You Forget‘s “Introvert” and ripped through a very brief ten-song setlist that lasted just under thirty minutes. Vocalist Ned Russin struggled through most of the set, but thankfully guitarist Jamie Rhoden provided vocals to many of the band’s closing songs including the brand new “Dream Catcher” and 2009 favorites “Loud and Clear” and “Symmetry”. “Goldwaite”, from the band’s 2007 split with The Erection Kids, made a surprise appearance much to the delight of some passionate Title Fight fans sprinkled throughout the room. The quartet performed with remarkable energy and passion, and, with tighter vocals, could be one of the better live punk acts in the genre.
No One Stays at the Top Forever
Loud and Clear
Walking out to the famous Rocky-series pump-up music (Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now”) blaring through the venue’s PA, Bayside set the tone of their set immediately with The Walking Wounded‘s title track. Two more cuts from their 2007 effort followed (“Duality” and “They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns”) before the band made good on their pre-tour promise to include some lesser-played old songs in the setlist. “Alcohol and Alter Boys” thrilled long-time Bayside fans, who appropriately responded with crowd-dismantling dancing. Sirens and Condolences also contributed the rarely seen “Just Enough to Love You”, and Bayside even tossed in a song from the criminally underperformed Shudder, “I Think I’ll Be Ok”.
Of course, staples such as “Tortures of the Damned” and “Montauk” remained in the set and were played with the kind of precision only attainable from hundreds of shows of practice. The brand new “Already Gone” made its New York debut to a surprisingly warm response, despite the song being released just days earlier exclusively through iTunes. “Half a Life” was a welcomed surprise to the hour-long setlist, but the night’s biggest shock came in the form of a Weezer cover: “My Name is Jonas”. Frontman Anthony Raneri’s unique voice gave the fifteen-year old song a new spin and allowed Bayside to capture the song as their own. As expected, “Devotion and Desire” wrapped up the fifteen song setlist with the biggest pit of the evening.
The Walking Wounded
They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns
Alcohol and Alter Boys
Tortures of the Damned
Just Enough to Love You
I Think I’ll Be Okay
Half a Life
Landing Feet First
Blame It On Bad Luck
My Name is Jonas (Weezer cover)
Devotion and Desire
With just an hour to mix up four albums of material, Bayside did a commendable job of straying from their previously stale setlists. Though Shudder has still yet to see proper live treatment, the Queens quartet picked solid lesser-played tracks from The Walking Wounded (“(POP)ular Science”) and their self-titled release (“Half a Life”) to keep things fresh. By now, Bayside’s live performance is fairly established as being one of genre’s strongest; it’s nice to see that attitude applied to a different set of songs. Few bands offer Raneri’s passion or guitarist Jack O’Shea’s technical prowess, so seeing it all come to life in a live environment is even more exciting.
All photos by the excellent arielebeau.