Who: Bayside, The Sleeping, Terrible Things, and Call It Fiction
What: Bayside headlining tour to promote their new upcoming album
Where: Grog Shop. Cleveland Heights, OH
When: July 15, 2011 – Sold out show (club holds a couple hundred)
A week ago I had the privilege of attending the Bayside headlining concert on the Cleveland stop of the tour. It was actually the third stop of this specific tour. However, I know for a fact that one of the bands on the bill, Terrible Things have been non-stop touring for a while now. I would imagine the same is true for the rest of the bands on the bill.
The opener for the night was a local band from Akron, Ohio called, Call It Fiction. They play a brand of pop punk that draws influences from Motion City Soundtrack, Take This to Your Grave-era Fall Out Boy, Houston Calls, and Taking Back Sunday with their call and response vocals. Going into the show, I was unaware a local band was even playing. The lineup card I read had only the three touring bands listed. While the local band opening is not always the most exciting thing for a show, I was actually very impressed with this local band. They are not re-inventing the wheel by any means (not always a bad thing). However, they did have great energy and an overall feeling that they really enjoy what they are doing. From a first timer’s perspective, they appeared to be in the college age where playing shows like this will be crucial to getting more recognition. They had a pretty short set that overall was a good performance and probably took a lot of people back to the early 2000s.
The second band to play, Terrible Things features scene stalwarts Fred Mascherino (Breaking Pangea, Taking Back Sunday, Color Fred), Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit), and Josh Eppard (Coheed and Cambria). Brian Weaver is their bassist. Terrible Things released a not often mentioned album that is really good this past August. The band started with their song, “Terrible Things” that is off the record with the same name. So yes, the band is Terrible Things. The record is Terrible Things. And the song is Terrible Things. Now that it is all cleared up, the song is a really good opener as it is a rocker with good energy. A good amount of the crowd knew who the band was and what their past was and overall enjoyed their set. There was good crowd-band interaction throughout, especially during their song, “Revolution.” Ultimate highlight, though was Fred playing his double neck guitar for one song towards the end of the set.
For me, it was awesome to hear Andy Jackson’ voice live again. Being my first time seeing the new outfit it brought back memories of high school listening to Hot Rod Circuit. I always loved Andy’s writing ability and paired with musicians like Fred and Josh it was pretty cool to hear that culmination live. If you have not heard this band, check them out because their album is new and fresh. There is tons of good musicianship and straight rock and roll throughout while also having that early 2000s post punk sound a bit. Really refreshing to hear. Their live show was fantastic.
Next up was the Sleeping. Not real familiar with this band, but I knew of their albums. I listened to their second record, Questions and Answers a bit. Their set consisted of a good mix of the aforementioned record along with their two more recent records, What it Takes and this year’s The Big Deep. These guys had a good amount of energy, especially their vocalist. Important side note was that during their sound check, something with their keyboards could not be properly hooked up or mic’d as the band notified the venue they would play without whatever it was. Not sure how big of a deal it actually was because the band rocked out regardless. My biggest gripe with their set is that their records are so different from one another that I thought I was listening to different bands during the set. Not a huge deal because the crowd was awesome for them and the band showed their appreciation by saying the crowd was the best in quite a long time. The small club went absolutely crazy when they played “Don’t Hold Back.” One thing I learned from watching them is that their singer lays it all out on stage when performing. Good set and I gained a new appreciation for a mostly unfamiliar band.
Finally up was the much anticipated Bayside. Before the band took the stage, there were some apparent issues with sound checking as it seemed to take an excessive amount of time for Bayside to take the stage. As a concert goer who has been attending shows at the Grog Shop, this was the first time anything quite like this has ever occurred. When Bayside took the stage, they opened with the “Walking Wounded” to a sold out crowd that was anxiously awaiting. Fans at the bar raced to jump in the pit and mix things up. It was great atmosphere and the band was energetic. After the opener they went right into “No One Understands” and the crowd kept up its intensity. They also played the popular “Duality” early on in the set, which was interesting in a good way. Since they were touring in support of their upcoming album, Killing Time they treated the crowd to some new live jams. Despite the problems with sound checking, I thought the mics on each member was good. Front man Anthony Raneri was able to be clearly heard as well. For a club venue, the Grog Shop always does a pretty good job with their vocals.
All things considered, Bayside lived up to their hype and anticipation playing a set spanning most of their releases. Couple that with the fact that the crowd was singing every word and you have the makings of a good show. It’s astounding more people don’t listen to Bayside as they have a ton of crossover appeal. They are a long-standing rock band that pulls influences from punk to musicals and everything in between. They are honest musicians that make honest music. And that is probably what made this night so good was the fact that every band playing had no ego. It was three touring bands that were friends and musicians not trying to scheme anyone. The one local band playing appeared to be grateful for the opportunity and seemed to make music they enjoyed. Every concert you hear the same routine of bands saying how much they appreciate fans, but it is the sincerity that is the difference with all three bands in this case.