Transit / Seahaven / All Get Out - live in Cambridge (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Transit / Seahaven / All Get Out

live in Cambridge (2013)

live show

Transit brought along some solid openers for their first major headlining tour, something that seemed a long time coming with so many releases and multiple tours already under their collective belt. Half of them were associated with Transit's former label and hometown brethren Run for Cover Records, and with this being a hometown show for the headliners, it was a sold-out and anticipated affair for many.

The first, Young Statues, are a pretty solid quartet with a new EP and a 2011 self-titled full-length under their collective belt so far. I haven't checked out the new EP, Age Isn't Ours, quite yet, but from what I've heard it seems like an improvement on the pretty good self-titled effort. They're sort of a unique entity in this scene: easygoing, catchy indie pop/rock with generous emo and alt-country influences (Limbeck?), with a vocal delivery that reminds me a lot of labelmate Koji. Main songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Carmen Cirignano had some enthusiastic bandmates with him and they played well enough to make for a definitively enjoyable start to the show.

Set list (6:59-7:29):

  1. Your Seasons Stay the Same
  2. Young Statues
  3. Eraser
  4. ?
  5. Meet Me at the Hudson
  6. Spacism
  7. Pretty Girls Make Raves
  8. ?

The oft-overlooked All Get Out were up next. The southern gentlemen have been plugging away for a few years now with their poppier take on Manchester Orchestra-style, dramatically confessional indie rock (hell, I'm pretty sure they even broke down "Subject to Change" with the stoner rock-like stomp from MO's "Pride"). But between this and a past tour with La Dispute/Balance and Composure, it's interesting to see that this is the scene that is ultimately taking them in. I was also curious to see how their new-ish lineup would fare, having lost guitarist/vocalist Mel Washington and bassist/vocalist Mike Rogers in May 2012. The answer? Just like the live band Young Statues were sporting, not bad at all. AGO even had a few pre-converted fans in the audience already, though, singing along to vocalist/guitarist Nathan Hussey, who otherwise cut above the crowd chatter during the band's minimal, achingly sung parts (namely the off-mic, instrument-less shouts and cries during "Let Me Go," which garnered a naturally warm response, and also featured a fakely bearded twin guitarist out on stage, perhaps as a tour prank). Hussey was by himself by the end of "Let Me Go," singing "What do you know about me? Who do you think I am?" I have no idea what song, if any, he was referencing, but oddly enough the most logical reference Google provides is the novel Death Spiral: Is Earth Ready to Join the Cosmic Community? by C.L. Gregoire. Probably no way. An expectedly great set either way.

Set list (7:40-8:12):
  1. Me and My Lovers
  2. Lucky Bastard
  3. My Friends
  4. Subject to Change
  5. The Season
  6. Don't Let Me Go

The show had generally been running a course where I expected to enjoy every passing band more than the last, and Seahaven should have been no exception, but they were. Chalk it up to them being a little sloppy at times, and vocalist/guitarist Kyle Soto carrying an off-putting, emotionless swagger of sorts for much of the set that contradicted the darker bite of the band's lyrics (his signature drawl delivery also fit poorly for closer "Goodnight"). Still, they played well enough, have a solid catalog of songs to pluck from, and it was pleasant to see them garner the biggest reaction of any show I've seen them play, with actual push-pitting, multiple crowd-climbers and stage divers doing their thing. Tighten up their set and have Soto be a little more dynamic, write a fiery sophomore LP with bang-up production and these dudes could run music in another year or two.

Set list (8:26-8:57):
  1. Intro/Black & White
  2. Save Me
  3. It's Over
  4. Plague
  5. Head in the Sand (Blinding Son)
  6. Goodnight

Transit capped off the night with a solid set that focused largely on their new album, Young New England. That album and its subtle '90s radio pop-rock influences has seemed to garner mixed critical and message board responses, but you couldn't have guessed that by watching half the spectators of The Sinclair go apeshit for them. Sure, cuts from 2011's Listen & Forgive (and top-seller "Please Head North," from 2010's Keep This to Yourself and an earlier split with Man Overboard) resulted in the biggest and loudest reactions (watching a somewhat muted response to apparently old fan favorite "For the World," from 2008's This Will Not Define Us, was quite telling), but kids seemed to love the YNE jams, noticeably singing along and loudly.

The band came out to an intro on the PA from Boston favorite Good Will Hunting and got right into it with "Nothing Lasts Forever" and the latter-era Taking Back Sunday-flavored "Sleep." Frontman Joe Boynton looked svelte and commanded the stage with a nice mix of cocksureness and looser moments of presence, pointing the mic to fans and even diving into them by the end of the show as he's wont to do.

The band put a pretty official stamp on their new era with an excerpt of Goo Goo Dolls' "Slide" slipped into "Listen & Forgive." So while Young New England arguably bears musical references to Transit's catalog dating back to Keep This to Yourself, if you're hoping for a return to the melodic hardcore beat of Stay Home or scrappy aughts emo of the earlier stuff, you may have to search elsewhere.

The encore choices were bold, too. They kicked it off with the "Young New England" title track (the whole crowd getting in on the chorus) and then shut it down with a song I'd consider kind of a deep cut for a set closer ("1978"). Transit's new album has some misfires for sure, but it shows that they're willing to take chances, and the least you could say for this current live show of theirs is that it's no different.

Set list (9:22-10:13):
  1. Nothing Lasts Forever
  2. Sleep
  3. Long Lost Friends
  4. You Can't Miss It (It's Everywhere)
  5. Don't Go, Don't Stray
  6. Listen & Forgive [w/ Goo Goo Dolls' "Slide" excerpt]
  7. Please Head North
  8. Footwork
  9. For the World
  10. Weathered Souls
  11. All Your Heart
  12. So Long, So Long
  13. Skipping Stone (alternate version)
    Encore (10:14-10:22):
  14. Young New England
  15. 1978