Last week I had the opportunity to attend one of the best put-together shows I’ve seen in a while. Have you ever been to a show where you’re as equally excited for the openers as you are the headliners? That was me last Tuesday night when I went down to Nashville to see Sorority Noise, The Spill Canvas, and Motion City Soundtrack at Exit/In. It was incredible to say the least.
So, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a huge Sorority Noise kick ever since listening to Joy, Departed. I was really interested to see if their live performance measured up to their studio sound. Spoilers: it definitely does. Opening the show with the clever track “Art School Wannabe” the band got the show going off to a great start. It didn’t take long for the whole crowd to start singing along to the chorus. They powered on through the track with an impressively played guitar solo right into “Nolsey” which featured equally impressive instrumental breaks as the band members ran around stage slinging their guitars and jumping around. The band had an incredible amount of energy.
They played a couple songs off their first album that I’m not terribly familiar with as well as “Using” off of Joy, Departed before closing out their set with my favorite track of theirs “Your Soft Blood”. Maybe it’s just because I’m a huge Brand New fan but their performance of that song was filled with an incredible intensity reminiscent of when I went and saw Brand New in Louisville last year. The whole mood of the room changed to this deep, incredible feeling really left me silent, just staring at the band. They jammed out at the end of the track with the guitarist knocking over his mic stand into the audience. He apologized to the girl who caught it and complimented her nice catch.
Finally seeing The Spill Canvas after being a fan of theirs since high school was a great treat. They played a setlist of mostly One Fell Swoop songs, opening up their set with “Lust A Prima Vista”. Nick Thomas’ singing was just as good as it is on the records which was really impressive. The group hand-claps at toward the end of their track was pretty cool too. They jammed through “Natalie Marie and 1cc”, “Break A Leg”, and “Polygraph, Right Now” before playing any songs that weren’t off One Fell Swoop.
A really funny part of the show that I hadn’t expected was how clumsy Nick Thomas was on stage. He tripped like three or four times and at one point dropped his guitar, momentarily bringing the show to a halt as he re-strapped it and got it working again through the PA. That’s a moment at the show that I won’t forget. It just came loose and fell straight to the floor drawing an audible gasp from everyone in the audience.
At one point I was that guy at the show yelling out old songs to play because I really wanted to hear “Black Dresses”. My shout actually brought four or five girls behind me to second my notion before Thomas crushed all of our dreams and told us that he didn’t remember how to play that one anymore. What a sad day. Later in the show another guy yelled for the title track off Sunsets and Car Crashes who was also told that that song was no longer remembered.
What was awesome though was their electric rendition of “The Tide” that they closed out their set with. It took a moment to realize what song it was at first since it sounded so different, but it was undoubtedly something that I really enjoyed hearing. It was nice to hear one song off of Sunsets and Car Crashes at least. All in all they put on a great show.
So at this point I had already seen Motion City Soundtrack play Commit This To Memory on the first leg of the tour in Louisville, KY. I drove up there by myself in the snow and it was easily the best time I’ve seen the band in the 7 times I’ve seen them…until this night. Somehow they pulled off exceeding my expectations again. With crazy energy starting with “Attractive Today” going into my favorite MCS song “Everything Is Alright” (I still remember downloading a Real player version of that song on dial-up and listening to it for the first time with my best friend Josh). Justin Pierre joked around onstage with little quips about the songs like “this songs about making out” before starting “Make Out Kids”.
Pierre remarked right before “L.G. FUAD” how much profanity was on the record saying that it wasn’t a bad thing but noted how his vocabulary has expanded since writing the album ten years ago. Keyboardist Jessie Johnson was easily the most energetic person onstage absolutely killing it on the keyboard and jumping around the stage. At one point the man was crashing on the the cymbals with a tambourine. He was everywhere onstage and it was awesome, about as awesome as his Refused shirt actually.
They completed the Commit This To Memory set and then went out and played new songs and other hits ranging from “TKO”, their newest song which gives me high hopes for the new record out in September, to one of their oldest songs “The Future Freaks Me Out”. The entire sold-out crowd singing along to the bridge was a moment to remember. The band encored again coming back out and playing “My Favorite Accident” before completing the show. Overall it was a great set, from the incredible energy of the band to the near-perfect setlist, to the five minute long tirade about how excited Pierre is for the new Star Wars movie, Motion City Soundtrack absolutely killed the Exit/In.
This was an incredible show: I got to see one of my favorite new bands for the first time, one of my favorite bands from high school for the first time, and I got to see Motion City Soundtrack play my favorite album of theirs. There were a lot of favorite things at this show and it was no accident.