Converge / Some Girls / Modern Life Is War - live in Levittown (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Converge / Some Girls / Modern Life Is War

live in Levittown (2006)

live show

For their genre, Blacklisted gets one of the biggest responses whenever they visit Long Island. There's always a big, siked crowd, even when they're playing first on a bill like this. Plenty of intense pile-ons, sing-alongs and all the usual fare ensued -- "Eye for an Eye" naturally getting the biggest response, which ex-Backup Plan vocalist / former This Is Hell bassist Jeff Tiu helped out on. Blacklisted's vocalist rocked the mic stand for the first few songs before finally cutting loose to take advantage of the stage's (fairly) spacious expanses. They were decent as usual, and I was pleased to hear my two favorites from them ("Coming Clean" and "How Quickly We Forget (Again)"). They also announced they'd already be hitting the studio at the end of December to record a new full-length (...The Beat Goes On was released 11/8/2005), entitled Peace on Earth, War on Stage. The song they played from it, "Ivory Tower" featured a balls-out fast opening, good transitions, and lots of Judge-style yelling as it proceeded -- fairly different and ambitious for the band.

Set list (7:01-7:25):

  1. ?
  2. Tourist
  3. Crossed Fingers
  4. Wolves at My Door
  5. Long Way Home

  6. -----
  7. Good Grief
  8. Coming Clean

  9. -----
  10. Ivory Tower
  11. How Quickly We Forget (Again)
  12. Eye for an Eye f/ Jeff Tiu
  13. That Ain't Real Much
How many more good things can we really say about Modern Life Is War? I don't even really feel like I need to say anything. The crowd erupted for every song of the set -- which drew strictly from My Love, My Way and Witness -- while the band spilled their usual outpouring of sincerity and passion. The set time they were afforded was painfully short, but everyone seemed to certainly make the most of it. One criticism I might've had was that I'd like to hear some more deep cuts I've barely seen them play of the now five times I've witnessed them; "Breaking the Cycle," "Young Man on a Spree," "I'm Not Ready," "Hair Raising Accounts of Restless Ghosts," "Destination: Death or Better Days" (which they'd apparently played the night before at NYC's Knitting Factory), or maybe their new new song, "Useless Generation," all would've made for good choices outside to make an otherwise straightforward set list stand out. It was still a great, uplifting experience like always though, while Jeff Eaton made sure to feel everyone there welcomed too, inviting newcomers to come up front. Overall, _____ (fill the blank in with positive adjective of your choice).

Set list (7:41-8:04):
  1. The Outsiders

  2. ----- (due to a broken string)
  3. Martin Atchet
  4. Clarity

  5. -----
  6. John and Jimmy
  7. First & Ellen

  8. -----
  9. By the Sea
  10. D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S.
Some Girls then took 40 minutes to set up to play a 26-minute set, largely due to the two drumstands they had to fixate on the stage -- which would only be used for one song, the 12-minute "Deathface." The band's set was, as expected, an absolute barrage-like, sonic assault on the audience, garnering a whole lot of dead stares. Criticisms towards Wes Eisold point out his apathetic stage presence in comparison with the passion shown when fronting American Nightmare / Give Up the Ghost several years prior, but for the most part he seemed pretty intense to me. Quite often he was flailing about the stage, pounding his fist into the air hard for the songs with the better dynamics. During "Deathface," he did a number of awesome things: staring cold and blindly into space for about a minute; pulling a Greg Puciato and pretending to throw the mic stand into the crowd -- which made at least half a dozen patrons, including myself, recoil; and slamming a cymbal from a partially setup third drumkit likely until he'd completely drained himself. While I think bands like Some Girls and the Locusts do at least fairly interesting stuff on record, they're definitely a sight to catch live, a good curveball to mix things up. Not being totally familiar, I was told they played most of Heaven's Pregnant Teens, including opener "Beautiful Rune" as well as "Hot Piss" and "Dead in a Web."

Converge is a band you're supposed to 'get' live if their chaotic, harsh soundscapes are a bit too much on record for you. I'd say that's actually pretty accurate; they weren't quite the mind-blowing experience many hype them up to be, but there's still a wondrous force at hand here. It was the band's first show since having to cancel a few shows due to a member's family passing, but their morose nature stood steadfastly uptempo. Their songs prove to have much stronger hardcore foundations in the live setting than their records' noise-metal leanings tend to portray, which gave everything a wonderful 'oomph.' "Heartache" with its sledgehammer, angular riffs, "Weight of the World" with its pulsating, drawn out opening riff, "Eagles Become Vultures"'s ferocious stride and "Concubine"'s momentary manic fervor made for set list standouts. Jake Bannon is pale as powder and stick-like lanky, and yet he's in charge of one the most commanding stage presences I've seen; plenty of grandiose, Civ-like gestures certainly help, too. "This is a fucking hardcore show, not a disco," he proclaimed towards the beginning of the set, and as such he then made multiple requests for the house lights to be turned instead of the colorful arrays of hues that were usually flashed for Ritual performances. Eventually they did turn on, and you could see all the pit antics in clear view: douche bags, Kung Fu prodigies, and casual two-steppers taking the floor. Their set was only 47 minutes long, yet seemed much longer; I suppose that's what happens when you manage to spit out a furious 14 songs or so in that time. I was definitely impressed, and the constant onslaught of wicked fast drums and abrasive riffs kept me more than interested throughout (air drummers/guitarists of the world unite!). Special thanks to Jake Bannon for saying the name of practically every song they played.

Set list (9:34-10:21; in order, but possibly missing a few):
  • Weight of the World

  • -----
  • No Heroes

  • -----
  • Eagles Become Vultures
  • Thaw (?)

  • -----
  • First Light (?)
  • Locust Reign
  • Forsaken

  • -----
  • Death King

  • -----
  • Homewrecker (?)
  • Black Cloud

  • -----
  • Versus
  • Heartache
  • Hellbound
  • Concubine
Definitely one of the best tours of the year, and one that I'd say nailed it about 95%.