"In over 2000 shows, this is the absolute worst venue and promotion company I've ever experienced."-Anthony Raneri, Bayside
That's what the lead singer of Bayside tweeted the day after this show. I'd love to try and use this space to persuade more bands to come to Indianapolis or the surrounding areas, like the fine city of Bloomington, but after a show like this, I don't know if I could. The Emerson, where this show took place, is a bastion for shitty metalcore acts and bad sound. I was surprised to even see that Bayside was playing there of all places.
When I got inside, local band Kid Valiant was playing. A decent—albeit young—band, they recalled some earlier Set Your Goals. I couldn't tell if the lyrics were as posi as they sounded, thanks to the venue's lackluster PA. I was pleasantly surprised as they were a lot better than most of the local bands I'd seen play on that same stage.
Next up was Same as Sunday, another group of locals. I'm not going to say much about them as I was told as a child to not say anything if I have nothing nice to say. I will say this, however: I really liked the backdrops that they had printed, their choreography was better than any of the other bands that night (none of the other bands had choreography), and when they wanted kids to do a circle pit that went through the merch area, it allowed me to move up a little bit and not have to deal with the douchebag kids in front of me.
Transit took the stage after them. My friend asked me what Transit sounded like, and the gentleman in front of me took the liberty to answer for me. "They sound like Brand New." I rebutted with a, "Well, they sound like early Brand New." He responded with, "Oh, yeah, they don't have all of the weird gay shit going on." I informed him that I was a huge fan of the "weird gay shit." Transit started just in time for him not to respond. I'm not a fan of Transit, per se, but I will give them that with the extreme heat in the venue at the moment, they did a great job. They're not a stellar live band, but they're young dudes and seemed to have a good time. I found myself nodding my head and sort of enjoying them by the end of their set, but it was really starting to sink in with just how hot the venue was.
After Transit finished and we sat through the intermission music (the first half of System of a Down's breakthrough record, Toxicity), Bayside came out to rip into a song from their new album, Killing Time. The record is good and promises just about everything that a Bayside record would promise, although it lacks the sharpness of the first few efforts. After that, they went into a few of my personal favorites and started to throw water on the fans in an attempt to cool us all off. We needed it desperately. Raneri seemed a little miffed that nobody was moving around, and I'd like to apologize for that. We weren't moving around because the band was bad live—far from it. Bayside's live show is a lot of fun if you like the band, and Transit's support made for an even better show. Nobody was moving around because it felt like it was 110 degrees inside and we were all fucking dehydrated. The sound was great if you were in the front and out of the range of the PA, but I feel terrible for the people in the back as the sound was a muddled mess. Even standing near the sound booth was terrible.
So after all of this, I can say a couple things. First, Bayside and Transit are both bands that if you enjoy, you should see on this tour. If not, then I wouldn't go far out of your way to catch them, but it's always nice to support your scene. Second of all, I know I just said to support the scene, but The Emerson needs to throw some cash into cooling or better sound before I go back to a show there.