Just a month earlier, the “Out With the In Crowd” tour hit New York City. By late November, though, the four-band tour was winding down and arrived in Sayreville, New Jersey, just forty miles outside of the Big Apple. Despite Senses Fail and Bayside alternating headlining dates throughout the tour, both nights found Senses Fail closing out the night and therefore allowing lucky attendees a chance to cut out early.
Doylestown five-piece Balance and Composure began with “Show Your Face”, drummer Bailey Van Ellis leading the charge with driving percussion. “Kaleidoscope” followed, revealing a surprising number of Balance and Composure fans in the front of the crowd. The quintet suffered some slight technical problems midway through the set, but after a slight wait “Burden” brought things back to life. “Twenty Four” — another solid cut from the band’s recent split with their like-minded Pennsylvania brothers, Tiger’s Jaw — concluded the half-hour set.
Show Your Face
I Can’t Do This Alone
Ten minutes later, Title Fight kicked into their blend of punk-hardcore two-minute romps with “Introvert”, the second track on 2009’s The Last Thing You Forget. In fact, nine of the band’s ten songs this evening came from that debut, including favorites like “Western Haikus” and “Memorial Field”, the latter featuring lead vocals from guitarist Jamie Rhoden. Title Fight’s energy ran through the crowd, with fans of the Kingston quartet ripping open pits in an otherwise stationary crowd during the pre-climax breakdown of “Loud and Clear”, perhaps the only song of the twenty-five minute setlist to near three minutes in length. The hard hitting “Symmetry” wrapped up an impressive setlist from the second Pennsylvania band of the evening.
No One Stays at the Top Forever
Loud and Clear
Bayside began just after 9PM, walking on stage to the the Rocky theme song, “Gonna Fly Now”, and kicking straight into “The Walking Wounded”. Lead by guitarist Jack O’Shea’s metal-influenced leads, the song set the tone for Bayside’s set immediately. “Tortures of the Damned” had everyone singing along from the song’s opening lines (“I hate myself more than I ever let on!”) through the all-too-catchy chorus (“I’ve made mistakes, but I’ll find my way / There’s no explanation for the things I’ve failed at before / They can’t hold my hand / It just hurts to be a man through the tortures of the damned”).
The criminally under-represented Shudder contributed just two tracks, including “I Think I’ll Be Ok”, a slower — but still hard-hitting — cut from 2008. The brand new “Already Gone” shed some light on what to expect from the band’s upcoming fifth full-length, hinting at another gem in the Bayside discography. Anthony Raneri’s vocal hooks exploded on “Montauk”, and the entire crowd reciprocated the band’s pummeling energy with singalongs and circle pits.
The rarely-seen “Choice Hops and Bottled Self Esteem” was a fantastic addition to the fourteen-song setlist, with bassist Nick Ghanbarian and drummer Chris Guglielmo paving the way for the song’s blazing two-guitar solos. “Don’t Call Me Peanut” slowed things down, and really didn’t fit the band’s otherwise unrelenting setlist, but “Blame it on Bad Luck” quickly returned things to form. An impressive Weezer cover and the obligatory “Devotion and Desire” concluded Bayside’s time on stage.
The Walking Wounded
Tortures of the Damned
I Think I’ll Be Okay
They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns
The Ghost of St. Valentine
Landing Feet First
Choice Hops and Bottled Self Esteem
Don’t Call Me Peanut
Blame it on Bad Luck
My Name is Jonas (Weezer cover)
Devotion and Desire
Though Bayside originally promised to dig into some older cuts this fall, by the time the tour’s routing wrapped back around to the east coast it looks like they abandoned that idea entirely, removing the two Sirens and Condolences songs (“Alcohol and Alter Boys” and “Just Enough to Love You”) from their originally constructed setlist. Since it was the band’s second of three planned area visits, though, it was nice to see a decent amount of the set change. Don’t miss Bayside celebrating their tenth anniversary at the tiny Crazy Donkey on Long Island at the end of January.