The AP Fall Ball at the House of Blues, November 5th
Up first, You Me at Six. I can't help but feel that their name is begging for punctuation. Also, their guitarist is begging for a haircut. I have no idea what his face looks like. Honestly. They were alright, an average scene band, except they were from the UK. Bonus points for the adorable accent on the lead singer, who had a pretty good voice too, but their music was nothing too different.
Next, The Secret Handshake. I am completely fed up with a computer as the fourth member of a band, and this was by far one of the most egregious offenders I have seen. Man, if you're going to autotune, do it subtly. Do not throw yourself into Imogen Heap territory. Also, if I don't see a piano on stage, I should not hear piano notes, especially if they are what is carrying the song. And funny that there's only one mic on stage and yet there are suddenly two or three voices during the chorus. I do not want this trend to continue - it must be squashed immediately.
Set Your Goals. And then it became clear why there were a ton of angry looking dudes at the show. They all came to mosh during SYG's set. Not my kind of music, but they weren't bad at what they do. Also, I love the fact that there are two lead singers; they play off of each other well. One of them is so super tiny though, that it was bordering on ridiculous to see him singing this hardcore stuff. But good ridiculous. They had a pretty sweet message through the screaming and thrashing, and a lot of it was about being you and not caring what others think, which is something I am always behind. They're doing something with the Hurley "Living the Dream" charity, and their line for that was "You are what you believe." I agree with that statement 100%. Preliminary web searching also hints that they might be a posi-core band, which is definitely a vibe I picked up last night, though there's no definitive statement on what strain of posi they're involved with. Something to look into, definitely.
Next up was Mayday Parade, who started off with a song that's on my mp3 player, from some mixtape. I didn't know it was by them and was initially shocked. They weren't bad, but again, they sound a lot like everything else that's happening. I'm getting bored of scene bands. I want something new and everyone's just rehashing the same chords and emotions and song structures. They're good performers though, and it was a fun set to watch. They also did a stripped down piano song, "Miserable at Best" which was very pretty.
Finally, The Academy Is.... (How am I supposed to punctuate with a period after an ellipses? The four periods just looks silly. Ah, well.) I love TAI, and haven't seen them in a year - I've been craving a TAI concert in the worst way. And while last night was fun, it didn't fill that need. Something was a little off. Maybe it was me. I normally squash myself in the crowd for TAI concerts, between bodies and seas of people, but I decided to get above the crowd and take better video of them last night, and maybe that lack of contact was the missing piece. They were great, as usual, and played a lot of old songs, but Bill Beckett's voice sounded just a tiny bit off in a way that it normally doesn't live. However I can't really complain when I got to watch "Checkmarks" live, as well as "Slow Down" and "We've Got a Big Mess on Our Hands." I'm a little worried about them, as a band. Almost everyone on their label has hit it big or faded away. I want them to keep playing so badly, to keep making music, but I fear that won't happen unless something big happens soon. But last night was awesome and included some newish live songs ("I'm Yours Tonight" and "Ghost" which was once a bonus track) as well as long time favorites that kept the crowd screaming along.
Also, as a separate and important note. Michael Guy Chislett, their lead guitarist, can play the guitar. And play the shit out of it. He should be more recognized for this. Because he's awesome.