This past Sunday I had my mind rocked by Manchester Orchestra! I had seen them once before in concert, as an opening for Blink-182, but it was a short set and the crowd consisted of tweens who loved Blink. To be honest I wasn’t prepared to enjoy myself as much as I did and this tours entire lineup really held their own.
Opening the show was another favorite of mine, Mr. Kevin Devine. I had photographed him once before at the Firebird opening for Say Anything and fell in love with his record Between The Concrete & Clouds. I was interested to see how he would do on a big stage being that the last time he was here he played a smaller club in town, and he totally nailed it! I really do think this guy deserves to play to much bigger crowds, with a drummer and bass player flinging their rock star hair about and Kevin jumping in the air through instrumental breaks in their songs I would be shocked if someone wasn’t entertained through their set. The act following Kevin, who was Balance and Composure, sounded great but in my opinion didn’t quite hit the same bench mark as a live act compared to Kevin. Balance and Composure were described to me as “an Indie Revival group”, meaning they are a band bringing back an Indie style of music that is very similar to the music some 90’s acts were releasing during the early stages of this genre. I thought that was funny and I realized the reason I enjoyed their music so much is because it is very remnant of Indie Rock pioneers Hum. I probably would have enjoyed them more had I not been so excited for Manchester Orchestra to take stage, and as the lights went down and the first few notes of the track “Shake It Out” started I knew it was on!
From the time Manchester Orchestra took stage it was just awesome! Opening with a track off of their second record and continuously mixing it up in the set with old and new album cuts, it was like listening to the best Manchester mix disc performed live. The setlist also included songs such as “Tony The Tiger”, “Pensacola”, “Pride”, “Oceans”, “Top Notch”, “Deer”,and “Cope” as well as a string of tunes that kept the crowd cheering and crowd surfing through their entire show. It was also interesting to hear vocalist Andy Hull address the crowd, with his dry tone it was a stark contrast to the eccentric vocal stylings he puts into all their songs. Seeing them live reiterated to me just how stellar their catalog is and how many of their songs I know and love. I was happy to hear the band play ever song they chose to do in the setlist and personally that is hard for me to say about a rock show.
Enjoy the pics, buy the new Manchester Orchestra album Cope, and see this band live dammit!