Falling ill after an hour and a half of driving to Indiana, PA, for the AP/Vans tour, myself and my show attendee did manage to catch two of the five bands currently swinging through the states.
Gratitude was the first band to take to the stage, and it confirmed several things:
- Yes, Jonah Matranga, who has played in a healthy handful of other bands such as Onelinedrawing and Far, has stayed humble and is indeed a swell person.
- Yes, he definitely acts out his on-stage persona quite...er...extensively.
- Both of the above doesn't change the fact that while Gratitude play "nice, friendly" and at times catchy pop-rock, their music is still rather unassuming and ineffecting (at least, for myself).
Our abrupt finish to the night, the Honorary Title, stepped up and started to tweak their instruments. The mellow, Long Island-based folk-influenced indie rock outfit is situated around singer/songwriter Jarrod Gorbel's hushed pseudo-twang and narrative tales. They played the best tracks off last year's Doghouse-released Anything Else But The Truth, including the most countryish song of the disc ("Points Underneath," which opened the set), the more uptempo, near-galloping track "Bridge & Tunnel," lush album opener "Frame By Frame," and beautiful pity ballad "Everything I Once Had," amongst a few others I'm sure I'm forgetting. Mr. Gorbel tried relating to the college students in attendance with a laughably perverted renactment of dorm kids in desperate need of lay, even admitting at one point himself he'd taken his act a bit far upon exclaming "I'm so fucking hard!!" The band closed with a song I didn't recognize, likely being from the band's self-titled 2003 EP, wrapping up a tight, nice set of bitter and yet gentle and sincere folk-rock for anyone into the sort of thing.
And so ended a short, quaint night at the University of Indiana, with a mildly enjoyable hour of music.