For the style of music dominating the night, After the Fall was incredibly appropriate to open the show. True, their album is a bit of a clusterfuck, but playing noodly melodic hardcore/punk just prior to No Trigger and Crime in Stereo made perfect sense. However, with their live show there definitely lay some criticisms, first and foremost being how sloppy they were. It wasn't atrocious, but far too many portions sounded blatantly messy; that can likely be attributed to the relatively complex song structures they attempt, Bigwig-style soloing included. They were also victims of an initially overwhelming sound mix, with everything turned up entirely too much. They shut down things with an efficient cover of the Descendents' "Coffee Mug" -- pretty ballsy considering present company. Oh, and the one of the guys checked their cell phone in the middle of one of the songs -- top serious lolz.
Some of you might find it surprising I haven't yet seen No Trigger on tour supporting LP1, Canyoneer, so it was pleasant to finally see New Bedford, Mass.'s sons playing the familiar tunes from it. "The Kids" seemed to have their push-mosh fun up front, but an even greater number exhibited some rather aggressive finger-pointing; it was good to see the band had built a bit of a following after the apparent low turnout from a Knitting Factory appearance a year prior. They had a good dozen passionately singing along along the stage and another few dozen scattered about the room. Incredibly tight and loud, the set was expectedly enjoyable; I got to hear over half of Canyoneer and its standout tracks, at that. Cheesy but appropriate, frontdude Tom Rheault was sure to stick the mic in the face of any girl who happened to be near the stage for my favorite off the album and set closer, "More to Offer." Solid.
Set list (7:50-8:19):
- Owner Operator
- The Honshu Underground
- Neon National Park
- You Said It
- Fish Eye Lens
- The (Not So) Noble Purveyors of the Third or Fourth Coming
- What We Became
- My Woods
- More to Offer
Any time one sees Crime in Stereo on Long Island, you can expect to be lost and drowning in an endless sea of 16-to-23-year-olds, so to rock the confines of a considerably smaller crowd here at the Knitting Factory's Tap Bar was refreshing. The audience was still a good few raucous dozen but comparably loosely packed. The band, for the most part, played blocks of songs from their discography (as you can see below) and it provided an interesting twist on the set list. Nonetheless, I've seen at least a baker's dozen of their sets and I'd easily say this was in the upper echelon of that; the sound mix was perfect for once and there was only a single technical difficulty, that being a broken string just prior to their last two. "Everything Changes / Nothing Is Truly Ever Lost" has become the consummate yet predictable set opener; naturally it kicked things off perfectly here. From there we were treated to a fluid, smoothly flowing set. One thing I've noticed about the band is how they never seem to preview new material live when they have it, strictly limiting the set to familiar tunes. I suppose that will only build the anticipation for their new full-length expected in September on Bridge 9 -- apparently the band, for each of the five days they were doing this tour, were driving back home to Long Island to record and
work their own individual jobs. Here's to hoping that ridiculous fatigue and stress provides some positive results on the album (likely to be in the form of more incredibly well-written social consciousness).
- Everything Changes / Nothing Is Truly Ever Lost
- Bicycles for Afghanistan
- Slow Math
- New Harlem Shuffle
- Long Song Titles Aren't Cool Anymore Because the Rest of You Fuckers Are No Good at It
- Play It Loud, Fuckers
I would've been at least a tad upset with Only Crime if I considered myself a legit fan -- they only played 34 minutes! Granted this was a melodic hardcore show, so it's not like I was expecting 90-minute sets and full-on encores from the headliners, but playing a mere three minutes more than both of your support bands just struck me as a little odd. Nonetheless, they sounded solid, and that's probably a good adjective considering I find To the Nines
a pretty good debut and Virulence decent
but far too similar to the last few Good Riddance albums. They do have a ton of ambitious, angular moments and I have to give them credit for injecting a creative flair like that into a usually straightforward genre, but it doesn't seem to always work. Additionally, their choruses tend to sometimes sound really
poppy -- like, really
poppy, and after much more aggressive verses the juxtaposition is just a little unsettling. If nothing else, they were the most energetic band of the night, jumping and thrashing around like they probably did ten years ago with their other band(s). Russ Rankin gazed at the crowd a little demonically with every word and it was an interesting sight to see Bill Stevenson in person, my admiration for him having grown quite a bit since last seeing Only Crime
. To close the set, the band left the stage one member at a time, playing their instrument until their departure and eventually leaving Stevenson alone to pound the skins until he had enough. Their response wasn't quite as intense or numerous as Crime in Stereo's but they definitely had a bit of a following present.
- Eyes of the World
- Take Me
- There's a Moment
- In Your Eyes
- To the Nines
- Framed Then Failed
- Real Enemy
- On Time
It would likely take another pair of spectacular supporting acts like this to get me an hour and change away to see Only Crime, but it's hard to completely dismiss a band who plays efficient, occasionally ambitious melodic hardcore as they do.