Save Our Scene


Mac’s Bar 12/3/09

During the stress of finals and school and all the other stuff I’ve got going on right now, this show was exactly what I needed. The Welcome to New England Tour came through Michigan and made its stop in Lansing at Mac’s Bar and I was lucky enough to be in attendance.

First up was Accidents (myspace.com/accidentsmi), a local hardcore band. I came in a little late so I missed the beginning of the set, but was still really impressed by what I saw. The band had a ton of energy and sounded really solid. They were heavily influenced by the greats of their genre, such as American Nightmare, and definitely did a good job of emulating that sound. Accidents were just really happy to just be playing with the bands that they were with, something that is really good to see. Definitely check them out.

Next was another local act, Incarta (myspace.com/incarta). I feel like Incarta gets put on a lot of metal shows in the area and they consistently bring a fairly big crowd, but I feel like the passion just isn’t there. You can definitely tell that Accidents are fans of the music they play while it just feels like Incarta is doing it because it’s cool. This further shows when they choose to cover a song like “Heaven” by DJ Sammy in the middle of their set. I would personally rather see them cover a song that fits more in their genre. Maybe their music just isn’t my taste, but I feel like Incarta just isn’t in it for the right reasons.

A Loss for Words (myspace.com/alossforwords) was the first of the touring bands to play. They are a pop punk band from Boston that is heavily influenced by the Boston hardcore scene. A lot of people think of bands like Every Avenue when they think of pop punk, but AL4W is far from that. They have all the elements and passion of hardcore and fit perfectly on a bill with heavier acts like Vanna and Therefore I Am. Their set was super tight and they flew through it. I really liked the dynamic of shared vocals between the lead singer and bassist and thought they put a really cool spin on their music by combining elements of their various influential genres. Their set got cut a little short, but was still really awesome. Definitely check them out.

Next was Therefore I Am (myspace.com/thereforeiam). They were definitely heavier than AL4W, but still fit the pacing of the bill. I was really impressed by the passion of this band. The vocalist kept talking about how the band and the audience were one unit and how he wanted everyone to be having a good time. The whole band had a ton of energy and was all over the stage while still hitting every note. Their final song absolutely blew me away. The band was having trouble with the microphones and eventually the vocalist just broke down to screaming the words without any mic and letting out all of his energy on the stage. It was really a site to be seen. I was a little unimpressed by this band’s latest album when I gave it a listen, but upon seeing them live, I definitely will be checking them out again.

And finally, Vanna (myspace.com/vanna). There was a lot of hype for this band just in hearing about them and talking to friends and they did not disappoint. They had a very cool dynamic of really heavy parts mixed with very sing-a-long-able vocals. All were very talented musicians who were very into what they were doing and the vocalist really knew how to work the crowd. I don’t think they were my favorite act of the night, but they still definitely impressive. It was just a really solid, tight set.

This tour definitely accomplished what it wanted with the idea of Welcome to New England. I felt like I really got a sense of what the NE hardcore scene is about. Everyone there was singing a long and all the bands were really interactive with the crowd, sometimes jumping into the fray themselves. It was a really cool sense of community to be a part of it.

Finals are draining my brain. I hope this post gives you all a little break from it as well as you make the push till the end of the semester.

-Matt



Mac’s Bar 11/27/09

Hey interwebs. Sorry that it has been awhile since I’ve had any new content, but the holidays and my play got a hold of me and wouldn’t spare me any free time, but I’m back, and I hope to get a steadier stream of content going from here on out. Enough babble though, let’s talk music!

I capped off my Black Friday at Mac’s Bar in Lansing this year. The first act to perform was Apollo (myspace.com/123apollo) from just outside of Detroit. To be quite honest, I just wasn’t really impressed. They sounded a lot like a mix between Coldplay and Muse with an attempt at Sigur Ros. However, it wasn’t as strong as their influences. While the lead singer/keyboardist/guitar player seemed to really be enjoying himself and was into the music, the rest of his band seemed less than enthused. I feel like the talent is there though and the band has potential, they just need to figure out what music they want to play.

Next was Good Weather for Airstrikes (myspace.com/gwfaband) from Howell, MI. Yet another solid set from some of my favorite dudes. They have a definite passion for the music they are making and it certainly shows in their live show. Today, they debuted a holiday song they recorded with a friend of theirs, Erin Joy Wall. The song they played was a cover of the classic “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and they have turned it into something new and awesome. They put a dark post-rock layer on the song that is accented by Wall’s incredible voice. They turned a simple holiday song into an incredibly emotional song and have once again impressed. I’m really looking forward to some new tunes from these boys.

After GWFA was Company of Thieves (myspace.com/companyofthieves) from Chicago. I don’t even know fully how to describe this band to you. They just absolutely blew me away. I came in from outside the bar to hear southern rock ala Colour Revolt and Manchester Orchestra being led by a woman with the pipes to rival Regina Spektor and more stage presence than just about anyone I’ve ever seen. I was absolutely floored by everything about this band and they have quickly gone into heavy rotation for me. Everything about them was just tight and well put together. I suggest you check them out for yourselves; it’s really the only way to understand.

And finally, Annuals (myspace.com/annuals) from North Carolina. I had listened to this band before coming into the show and was really excited to see them live. They’ve got a really cool sound that uses a lot of different instrumentation and weird layers to tackle indie rock. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t really fit into any set sub-genre. While I enjoy them on album, I have to say I was pretty unimpressed live. Their energy seemed pretty low, despite the fact that they sounded really really tight. They did however use some really cool lighting effects by placing LED lights in clear drums and I really like it when bands take up the little things like lights. I just felt like they were pretty average though. A tight set and good sound, but just pretty boring. That’s it for my post-Thanksgiving show.

Please check out the above bands, especially the Michigan bands. I took a ton of shots at the show and I just upgraded my Flickr account, so expect lots of photos!

Best wishes,

-Matt