Modern Baseball’s Pop Punk Party at The Barbary

Hometown pop punk favorites Modern Baseball kicked off their headlining tour this past Sunday 6/1 at The Barbary, with support from Tiny Moving Parts, The Hotelier, and Sorority Noise. With two sold out shows in one day, a huge crowd gathered to see these four amazing young bands, who each take a totally different approach to their punk rock sound.

I have to admit, I got to the show a little late and only caught the last song or two of Sorority Noise’s set. Their album Forgettable is energetic and upbeat, with some songs that are more poppy and some that include deafening screams. “Blonde Hair, Black Lungs” was notably charged with angst, being one of the best and angriest cuts off their recent release, which you can listen to here.

To say I was excited to see The Hotelier is an understatement. I’ve been jamming to Home, Like Noplace Is There since I reviewed it back in March, and they were absolutely explosive live. They opened up with the “The Scope of All of This Rebuilding” and churned through rhythm changes and vocal deliveries, ranging from harmonies to all out screams in heavier songs like “Life In Drag.” The Hotelier’s sound is hard to fit into a single genre. Their lyrics are gut-wrenching and their live show is a true display of raw emotion. The band’s most breathtaking, personal, and dark track from the set was “Your Deep Rest,” during which the band absolutely erupted and vocalist/bassist Christian Holden yelled passionately at the loss of a close friend and how “tradition of closure nearly felt impossible.” Listen to this album.

I never gave a good listen to Tiny Moving Parts prior to this show, and that a mistake. This three piece band rocked so hard, and vocalist/guitarist Dylan Mattheisen shredded and tapped through meticulous riffs while screaming at the top of his lungs and helplessly smiling in the joy of the moment. The crowd was captivated, and a small pit of eager screamers broke out in a hardcore dancing frenzy. Tiny Moving Parts puts on a really good show and the members jump around the stage, totally embracing the music with the crowd as they slammed on their instruments. The most notable and jamming song in their set was a new track from a forthcoming album that will be released later this year. Get pumped for that, and in the meantime listen to their 2013 release, This Couch is Long & Full of Friendship.

As they always are in Philly, Modern Baseball’s set was a pure explosion of fun; shouting, singing, and crowd surfing fans pushed towards the stage as the cramped space was filled with the band’s best hits, from “Re-do” to “Rock Bottom.” The loss of the acoustic guitar which is used heavily on their records resulted in a much more raw and blown up sound that still had the sing-a-long factor of their catchy hooks and melodies. The kids in the packed Barbary were going nuts, screaming their hearts out at lines like “My head is on the verge of exploding! No amount of aspirin or pizza could help this from hurting!” and “To hell with class I’m skipping! Lets order food and sleep in! I’ve got so much to do, But it’s ok cause whatever, forever!.”

During “Your Graduation,” drummer Sean Huber took to the top of crowd to shout his vocal duties and the rest of the heartbreaking song in unison with the fans, “Remember all those countless nights, When I told you I loved you, And to never forget it? Oh just forget it! / You weren’t the only one who thought of us that way, I spend most nights awake, wide awake!” It was awesome to see the connection between the crowd and the band, and to admire the fact that these guys have taken their once-basement-dwelling music on the road with bands like The Wonder Years. Now that they are headlining a tour in the US and Europe (with support from Spraynard), and playing Riot Fest in Chicago alongside some huge bands, things look like they can only get even better for Modern Baseball. If you haven’t, listen to the band’s latest You’re Gonna Miss It All here.

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