The Matches, Valencia, The Status
Philadelphia, PA • November 15, 2008
To promote their latest release, Shudder, Victory Records’ Bayside, accompanied by The Status, Valencia and The Matches, came to rock Philadelphia.
Inside the Trocadero, fans bustled with eagerness, trying to earn their spot closest to the barriers. The Status, a pop-rock band from Atlanta, started the night off with tracks from their debut release, So This Is Progress. With this performance being their second to last on the tour, the band seemed to put an intense effort into their Philadelphia debut, trying to hype up any, and every, fan that would pay attention. Their music, including songs “So This is Progress” and “Where the Heart Is,” seemed familiar of the style of the next performers, Valencia — pop-friendly, with simple (but heartfelt) lyrics, an energizing on-stage presence and perhaps their best weapon: powerful guitar chords that give each song its own little punch.
Next up was Philly’s own hometown heroes, Valencia. Each performance the band has in the area is always well-received by the fans, who flock to the stage then back to the merch table to congratulate the guys on the show. The band took the stage for a quick 30 minute set, with most of it being devoted to tracks off of their sophomore release, We All Need a Reason to Believe. Fans sang along with Shane Henderson as he belted out the words into the mic, sweat dripping down his face. Overall, their performance was decent and tight, but not entirely captivating. The new material doesn’t seem to strike the same musical intensity as their prior release — the lyrics are really the key to this album.
The Matches were up next and as always, it was one entirely entertaining performance. Both Shawn and Jon (vocalist and lead guitar respectively) were dressed to impress — or at least captivate attention in a very vagabond-esque style. Their new material off of their third Epitaph release, A Band in Hope, is much less of the pop-rock in your face sound they adapted for their first album, yet ever the guilty pleasure to listen to. Fans sang along to songs like “Wake the Sun,” “Yankee in a Chip Shop” and “Salty Eyes,” an eccentric rock waltz that is ever bit as dramatic as the band’s persona is. The Matches have yet to fail to impress; each time they show up in Philly, they leave a good impression on the audience.
Finally it was time for Bayside and the crowd cheered in eager anticipation. Having performed in their hometown the night before, the Long Island quartet seemed to have an extra boost of excitement during their performance. The first track was off of their latest release, and was followed by a few memorable fan favorites, including “The Walking Wounded” and “Blame it on Bad Luck.” The key point of the night was the acoustic performance, “Don’t Call Me Peanut.” Fans sang every word, some with their phones in hand, intent on the choice of song. If there was one word to describe Bayside’s fans that evening, it was loyal.
Dressed in their favorite band memorabilia, the audience hung on to every word that Anthony Raneri said, from the song lyrics to his gratitude that they paid to come out to see them, despite the state of the economy. When Raneri started to congratulate the Philllies on their World Series win, the fans started chanting back at him, “Let’s Go Phillies.” And when Raneri and the others said their thank yous and good-byes, the audience refused to believe that their night would end without the band playing one more song–“Devotion and Desire,” from their 2005 self-titled album. If anything, the fans “devotion and desire” to their favorite rock band seemed cemented by the performance.