It's kind of funny that it has taken me this long to see Straylight Run. I've been a fan since their first album, and last night's performance was intimate and stunning.
My interview with John Nolan ran a bit late, so I only caught the final three songs of Dave Melillo's set. Not much of a fan, but I can see why the kids love him. He's young, wears his heart on his sleeve and is acceptable for kids younger than me. Between sets, he was on the side playing/teaching kids some of his songs on his guitar, and that intimacy made me remember the days when shows were so, well, intimate.
Brian Bonz took the stage with only one of the Dot Hongs because the rest were backing Kevin Devine on his stint with The Get Up Kids. This is my second time seeing Bonz, and I honestly think he is poise to be one of the next great singer-songwriters out there.
Absolutepunk.net favorites The Dangerous Summer took the stage to an embracing crowd, plowing through many tracks from Reach For the Sun. Nostalgically speaking, when I was 17, I would definitely be into this band, but those days of poppy hooks are behind me. The Dangerous Summer has something to offer, but to a different crowd that would better appreciate it.
Straylight Run took the stage. Again, this is my first time seeing the band ever, and it didn't disappoint, with or without Michelle. The band played an even set, surprisingly self-titled heavy. The band played "A Slow Descent" for which they said hasn't seen the stage in quite some time. Nolan did an acoustic version of "Mile After Mile" and the band ended with "I'm Through With the Past" and a heated display of passion - "Hands in the Sky (Big Shot)." Nolan stayed on stage after the band left and encored with "The Perfect Ending," which was, well, you know...
It would seem with all the little tours going through America with bands that have only been around for a few months displaying tragedies of what they deem music, I would have expected a larger crowd of appreciation. With that said, get to this tour, and enjoy an evening of good music. Some of it may be for you, and some of it may not. I can guarantee you'll find something you'll like.