Boys Night Out / Armor for Sleep - live in Long Island (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Boys Night Out / Armor for Sleep

live in Long Island (2003)

live show

With a comedy show that night, a Saturday matinee at the Downtown was the time slot for this non-touring show.

For all of the diversity many Long Island locals make up, and I truly enjoy (from Brand New to Scraps and Heart Attacks), I'll be damned if anyone tries to deny our fair share of mediocre/shitty pop-rock. Brookside, the opener, shares this honor. I overheard someone say "...Starting Line..." and it wasn't far from inaccurate, the comparison falling dead on when it came to the vocals, sounding exactly like Kenny from said band. There was a half-assed dash of Through Being Cool-era Saves the Day thrown in for an attempt at good measure, but all in all, to say "meh" might be generous, though the drummer seemed to mix things up well.

Descendre was definitely the shocker of the night. Falling somewhere in the post-hardcore spectrum (damn right that's vague), they played some indescribably good music with strong vocals. As a footnote, I recognized Skully from the Reunion Show on skins. With a gun to my temple for a forced comparison, think Breaking Pangaea meets Recover with the bridge from any slow Taking Back Sunday song...okay, so it really is hard to describe. Don't rely on my note, just see for yourself.

Well, any time you sign to Drive-Thru, you can pretty much see emminent popularity. Welcome Hidden in Plain View to this family. They sure as hell don't sound like the Early November, but rather play some mediocre pop-punk with occasional screams that sometimes work well, and other times sound truly pointless. As a good chunk of the crowd sang along and threw their fingers, you could almost hear some variation in the guitars, but that might've been the only thing the band had going for them, with their tight playing. Among the half-dozen or so songs they played were "American Classic" and "Shamans Witches Magic," the latter of which is actually a half-decent song.

Thanks to various sources, I suddenly thought I'd be open to narcoleptic inductions because of Armor for Sleep's set. Their set wasn't totally enjoyable, but I did manage to stay awake without too many problems. The only material I was familiar with was "Wanderer's Guild" and "Dream to Make Believe," otherwise the songs were kind of boring, although the vocalist sounds generally less annoying live than on record.

Boys Night Out began with a subtle instrumental excerpt from "This Broken Killswitch," fading out only to jump right into "The First Time It Shouldn't Taste Like Blood." They were at their usual antics, saying how they love to play here, talking about past shows, and playing really fucking tight. There was a perfect split between the full-length and the last EP, so fans of both eras were pleased. The hardcore verses in "Victor Vs. the Victim" were growled right on, the beat-blasting drums opening "The Fine Art of Making It Out Alive" picked the pace up off the floor and shoved it down our throats, and the crowd screaming "YOU ARE MY CANVAAS!" in "Sketch Artist Composite" were the little things that made for a great time. At another point, Conor said "You guys want to hear a dirty joke in one of those e-mails I got?...okay, so a turtle says to a bunny 'I've got these scars I'm hiding...'" as they randomly went right into "Just Once, Let's Do Something Different." Also played was "Where We Breathe," "Anatomy of the Journey," "It's Dylan, You Know the Drill," and the handclap-bridged "I Got Punched in the Nose for Sticking My Face in Other People's Business," closing a great set.