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07:46 AM on 03/14/14
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Ryan Gardner
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Thursday was a busy day in the daytime for me. I spent the majority of my day at the Equal Vision/Pure Noise showcase before heading over to see a Chiodos show.

The showcase started off with special guest From Indian Lakes. I saw these guys back in November opening for Lydia and they absolutely blew me away. Frontman Joey Vannucchi just floors me every time I see them. I mean seriously, this guys vocal power is incredible, especially for being relatively new to the game. Once again, the repletion of “Breaking my bones” is still stuck in my head from “Paintings.” The set drew a very large crowd, which is great for the band – particularly since it was rather early in the day.

I headed over to get lunch with Jesse from PropertyOfZack so I missed My Iron Lung’s set and most of To The Wind’s. I caught the end of the latter’s and they sounded like a pretty solid hardcore band that fans seemed to enjoy a lot. I’ll have to check out their material.

Kurt Travis and crew in A Lot Like Birds were up next. To be honest, I’ve only ever casually listened to them, but man is their live show something else. The chaotic chemistry between frontman Kurt Travis and “heavy vocalist” Cory Lockwood becomes a prime focus of the set. The ability of both of the singers is remarkable – Travis soars while Lockwood adds a chaotic nature to the set. The mixture of harmony and disorder steals the set. At this point, there’s hardly any denying how talented Travis is. Catch these guys on Warped Tour this summer if you’re looking for something a little heavier for your day.

After Birds set, I decided to catch The American Scene again. I saw them the day before, but the sound wasn’t fantastic in that venue so I wanted to see them with better ears. And man, these guys are great. I stand by every word I said yesterday. This band is criminally underrated. Seeing them live, Matthew Vincent’s talent as a frontman comes across even more-so than on the records and his lyrics really stand out. He is easily one of the strongest and most under-appreciated songwriters in pop-rock today.

I missed Being As An Ocean to get food again – sorry, South By requires a lot of good food; it’s a rule. Next was Gameface, a rock band that has been making music since before I was born. As a result of that, I was rather unfamiliar with them. However, their live set was quite enjoyable. Just a good ol’ rock concert with some pop-punk elements – I use that word rather lightly though. It was a loud set, with their fans belting along to all the anthems. I can definitely see how they’ve influenced bands like New Found Glory, Funeral For a Friend, and even Frank Turner. Their first new record in over a decade, Now Is What Matters Now, releases this Tuesday. I’ll certainly be checking it out.

I was very interested in how The Story So Far would sound live, as a lot of people seem to think they’re one of the best bands in this new pop-punk scene. Well, I’ll say this – their fans go insane for them. Constants stage dives, mosh pits, crowdsurfing, jumping – they go nuts. The set was definitely entertaining, with songs like “The Glass” and the opening “Right Here” sounding huge in the outdoor heat. Frontman Parker Cannon may not be the strongest vocalist – he just kind of yells into the mic and sings the words really loudly – but I can see why the fans like their live show so much. The energy is there. I will say that behind The Wonder Years, I probably do consider them one of the better bands in the scene today, even if I don’t find myself listening to them too often anymore.

Last minute, I heard about a Chiodos unofficial show nearby, so I ducked out of TSSF set a few minutes early and headed over there. I couldn’t get in, so I literally watched it from across the street. Surprisingly, the sound was just fine over there – the stage was outside – and I could see the stage quite well. They played about five tracks, starting off with “The Only Thing You Talk About” and ending with my personal favorite “The Undertaker’s Thirst For Revenge.” I’d never seen them live before – how? – so I was quite impressed with Craig Owen’s stage presence. The man was born for the spotlight. His vocals absolutely soar live, and when he climbs into the crowd, there’s really no missing him. I’m quite interested in how Devil will sound.

So that was it for yesterday. I called it an early night due to being out so late Wednesday. I tried to go see The 1975 but the line was nuts, so I’ll just catch them on Saturday at Waterloo. Today I’ll be hanging out at the Charlie Says Fest that we are sponsoring to see Diamond Youth, Driver Friendly, Pup, Tiny Moving Parts, For The Foxes, and NGHBRS.
07:47 AM on 03/14/14
#3
Ryan Gardner
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(This has not been proof read since I have to run for the day)
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