Bayside / Valencia / The Peace Creeps @ Vineland 12/27

January 27, 2009

Surrounded by blueberry fields, Hangar 84 is a brand new venue in the heart of South Jersey located in Vineland–home  to other local DIY venues such as Eugene’s, Loyle Lanes, and DeMarco Cinemas through the years. The sound is surprisingly crisp and the floor area is just the right size, leaving it up to the bands to do the rest.

Although Eyes on the Prize and The Hot and Heavy played earlier in the evening, the first band I caught in their entirety was The Peace Creeps, a rock quartet from Philadelphia. In contrast to openers Eyes on the Prize–college students barely twenty years old–The Peace Creeps were fathers and men in their forties and fifties. Taking cues from bands like The Who, The Peace Creeps fail to speak to my generation; a strange mix of modern and ’60s rock, the band may not speak to any generation. Tight drumming and a few strong guitar licks aside, the band failed to do anything worthwhile during their half hour on stage.

Philadelphia punk-pop/pop-rock act Valencia played next, engaging the local crowd and putting on a great show. The band played a fairly even mix of their two full-lengths. The band’s ability to stand out in an overcrowded genre comes from the tight drumming of Maxim Soria and the smooth delivery of vocalist Shane Henderson, who held the the audience captive for a little less than an hour. The blazing guitars tread the line between pop-rock and punk-pop, never sounding too familiar but always accessible. Valencia omitted personal favorite “Tenth Street” but did include most of their solid cuts before closing with “The Space Between”, the first song from 2005’s This Could Be a Possibility.

Bayside played extremely well, moving across their entire discography with ease. Shudder’s first track, “Boy”, opened the evening but the band did not stick just to their new album. Indeed, few bands work four albums into one setlist as well as Bayside, who constantly cater their to old and new fans alike. Of course, it might just be that none of the material is older than five years: Bayside has released a full-length every year since their debut in 2004, with the exception of 2006 (which found the band grieving the death of their drummer and consequently issuing an acoustic disc).

Older surprises, such as “Guardrail”, were a nice treat but I was most excited to catch some of the new songs live, such as “The Ghost Of St. Valentine” and “No One Understands”, which both sounded great. “I and I” and “Dear Your Holiness” would have been nice additions from The Walking Wounded, but the band did play “Landing Feet First”–a great tune frontman Anthony Ranieri actually performed on his wedding date.

“Duality” was the last song before the band walked out off to cue an encore; Ranieri returned with The Smoking Popes’s “Megan” shortly after. The  band’s obligatory closer, “Devotion and Desire”, ended the evening with the Vineland Police Department coming into the crowd to disrupt the violent dancing. By night’s end, Bayside’s set was about fourteen songs, and the band sounded great all night. Ranieri was constantly thankful for the chance to play the venue, noting that even in hard economic times that anyone who spent even $15 to see his band was a true blessing.

ATTENTION: inTuneMusic was unable to acquire any setlists from this incredible evening. If you know the songs in order of any of the bands from this evening please post them in the replies and the article will be updated! Thank you!