Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Show Recap: mewithoutYou @ Marquis

i've never been a big fan of mewithoutYou, i missed it when they started and gained popularity so i felt a little bit out of the loop. Despite that and the fact that their sound takes a little getting used to, i picked up their new album, It's all Crazy! It's All False! It's All a Dream! It's Alright and i really liked it, but not enough to go to the show.

Until Tahoe came through with an extra ticket and convinced me i should check it out. Best thing Tahoe has done since he signed my marriage certificate as a witness back in the day.

first of all, the show was at the Marquis Theater in downtown Denver, a venue that has become really popular for bands that aren't of large status. Most of the shows i go to down there the place is about 50-200 kids deep, and taking advantage of the PBR Tall Boys served at the bar. This night however, the entire place was full, we were standing at the back wall, with PBRs, and i couldn't even see the stage let alone the band members. from what i had been told, lead singer Aaron Weiss is crazy on stage and i wasn't about to miss that, so Tahoe bore a hole and i got close enough to feel the energy (i couldn't see so much since i'm a short-dude).

This was one of the best shows i've ever been to, seriously, and i only knew a handful of the songs. The energy in the place was crazy, the music was passionate, and the crowd was eating it up. Frontman Aaron was awesome, he reminds me of an instense folk-singer, his story-telling songs and nasal-ly voice were a trip to see. It's so hard to describe mewithoutYou, according to their Wiki they are a prog-rock band, a little bit folksy, a little bit hardcore. They're signed to Tooth & Nail records, a Christian label, but the music is exactly outspoken Jesus music. a lot of the lyrics are metaphors and stories and they take a little bit of brain-power to figure out.

The best way to describe this night would be "raw". the emotion and passion exuded by the band was amazing, it's sort of like how us "non-singers" might feel and sound like if we just let go of our pride and sang as loudly and crazy as we could. Aaron dances back and forth across the stage, swinging his arms in raw emotion, never worried about his apperance or crowd response. the band was handing out percussion instruments to the crowd during songs and it reminded me of a scene out of the Old Testament, maybe like David singing some Psalms in the streets. Powerful.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the crowd, most of the shows i go to end up in a "mosh" pit and everyone sort of rocks out, but this wasn't that style of music. a lot of people just watched in awe, not being able to look away from the antics of the band, some people raised their hands as one would during a worship service. Some danced, others focused on singing the lyrics as loudly as they could, it was an awesome thing to see.

"Oh, my God! I do not exist we faithfully insist while watching sink the heavy ship of everything we knew If ever you come near I'll hold up high a mirror Lord, I could never show you anything as beautiful as You"

sorry, my videos aren't the greatest visual quality, it was tough to get close enough to see:

In A Sweater Poorly Knit:

Goodbye, I!

Show Recap: the Audition @ Fox Theatre

i got a chance to catch 2 bands that i've liked for quite a while, the Audition and the Higher. both of these bands don't really fit into the style of music that i enjoy most, but they're fun bands, very poppy/dance /groove style and sometimes you need to enjoy something a little contrasting to lighten things up.

Anyway, this tour was in Colorado Springs a few days earlier and i was really bummed i couldn't make it down there. Luckily my homie Jordan saw that it was coming to Boulder, so i got a chance to see the Audition again (saw them on Warped Tour a few years ago) and a band i've been really trying to see; the Higher.

Both of these bands are signed to labels that don't really represent their sound, Audition to Victory Records and The Higher to Epitaph. Neither band has a big following which was evident as soon as you entered the venue, there were maybe 50 kids in the whole place. By the time The Audition played it had filled up to maybe 100-130, but it was relatively empty compared to other shows.

i wasn't interested in the first 2 bands, including Runner Runner who was in my opinion, way too cheesy and corny. they were energetic but i couldn't stand them, way too much pop for me. i don't even know who the first band was, it was either In:Aviate or Lives of Famous Men or something like that.

Once the Higher came on i was very intrigued as to what they would represent musically. Their sound is like pop-punk, but less punk than usual, with a real groove to the sound. They were very energetic even though the crowd was a little chill. The lead singer looks super-geeky and his whole feel reminds me of white-gangsta, wankster, whatever. He has a good voice, but it's pretty limited, and i concluded after their set that they would be better in a shorter time frame, like 5-6 songs, instead of the 10 or so they played. The switched up between their first full-length On Fire and their recently released full-length It's Only Natural. The main talent in the band appears to be the drummer, who was trying his best to convince us he was Travis Barker with full upper-body tattoo's, and a punk/hardcore style of drummer.

They played a ton of songs, most of them were good but forgettable, their best song by far is Insurance? off of On Fire which they saved for last and were joined by the dudes from Runner Runner. other songs they played were Rock My Body, Histrionics, Movement, 31 Floors, Insurance?, Try Again, Undertaker, Play With Fire, It's Only Natural, and Closer (cover of Usher?).

The headliner was the Audition, a band that i've followed since their first full-length was released on Victory Records, Controversy Loves Company. They've always been a favorite of mine, a lot of fun, and i usually compare them to Fall Out Boy but a little more serious. Last time i saw them they were a 5-piece but this night they were down to 4 band members, which took a little out of the overall sound. According to their wiki page, founding member/bassist Joe Lussa quit the band earlier this year, and has not been replaced.

Lead singer Danny Stevens is definitely a veteran of the game, and the whole band showed their experience through the night. The songs were solid and tight, except for the Jack Daniel's-influenced vocals that seemed to be a little off but nonetheless they were good. Most of the place was dancing and pogo-sticking throughout the set, bobbing their heads to the beat (think a little like the upbeat songs of Maroon 5 with edgey-ness). The bass player was solid, and it was impressive considering he was the rhythm guitarist for the duration of the band until earlier this year, but he was killing it this night.

Near the middle of the set, Danny picked up his acoustic guitar and lead the band in Los Angeles, and slower track off the new album; Self-Titled Album and then into It's Gonna Be Hard which he described as his favorite song they've ever written. It sounded great and it was a good feel before the last few songs. I'm not sure why they chose to play It's Too Late so late in the set as you could tell the crowd didn't really know the song, i'm sure their last two albums are the most popular.

The songs i remember them playing were