Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

Tigers Jaw at Union Transfer in Philadelphia June 29, 2017

Filed under: Concert Reviews — NVMP @ 10:03 PM
Tags: , , ,

Review by Joey Affatato

On June 23rd, I had the pleasure of seeing Tigers Jaw along with opening bands Saintseneca and Smidley at one of the coolest venues in Philadelphia – the Union Transfer. As I walked in, Smidley (lead singer of Foxing’s side project) were starting off their set with the only song I knew by them “No One Likes You”. As a first impression, I thought they sounded very tight as a band, but definitely gave off a very awkward vibe – maybe it was the exotic “Napoleon Dynamite” esque dance moves they showed off over the duration of their set. Despite that, they expressed a lot emotion and passion, which makes any performance more engaging, especially for an opening act. Quirky and weird, but full of life. For their last song, Cam Boucher from Sorority Noise joined the band on stage and busted out playing a saxophone. This was pretty awesome, in my opinion, since I wasn’t aware Cam played any instruments besides guitar/vocals and surprisingly meshed very well with the band’s style of music. Good opener and entertaining performers all around.

The next group was Saintseneca – only reason I knew them was that members of the band were in established punk groups The Sidekicks and All Dogs. As predicted, the band impressed me immediately with rich, blending four-part harmonies and intricate lead guitar riffs. They also were very noisy and created a lot of obscure sounds through various pedals and feedback from amps. It was almost as if you mixed Pinegrove’s southern rock feel with the noisy chaos from Nirvana. Definitely enough to convince me they were worth checking out afterwards.

Last but not least, local heroes Tigers Jaw were great as always. They jumped right into playing  “Follows,” the first track off their new record Spin which immediately brought the uptempo feel needed to get their sea of fans rocking back and forth. The driving synth leads, breathy vocals, and cut through guitar tones gave me chills just after hearing a few songs. I saw the Scranton duo a couple years back at the same venue, but it was obvious that they matured a lot in their sound and songwriting. Being signed to indie label Run For Cover for some years, they most recently signed a major record deal with Black Cement Records, a subsidiary label of Roadrunner Records. Not only was I super happy for this band that I’ve been listening to since high school, but I knew that this sequence of events only meant that a great new album was yet to come, causing myself to be crazy impatient over these last few months. Throughout their set, Tigers Jaw, of course, also played some favorites such as “The Sun,” “Planes, Tanks, and Submarines,” “Test Patterns,” and “Distress Signal” in order to keep the majority of the crowd interested since a lot of fans were still unfamiliar with their newer material. Well played, guys. Well played.

All together, definitely a great show with some new bands to get hyped about. If you haven’t had the chance, check out all these bands on Spotify if you’re in need of something fresh. I know I’ll be blasting the ‘Spin’ vinyl I picked up.


Lost in Society & Face to Face – 5/13/17 May 16, 2017

Review by Joey Affatato

I had the opportunity to see both Lost In Society and Face To Face at House of Independents in Asbury Park and was more than happy I went. To start off the night, Lost In Society dove into their set with a burst of energy and were literally ‘bouncing off the walls’ as they played. Already being a fan of the band, I was jamming out to their newest record Modern Illusions (produced by Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls) in the car driving to the show and have to say that the punk trio did not fail to impress. The combination of punchy drums, raspy vocals, and catchy melodies was enough to get the whole room dancing – even people who may have just came for the headlining act. Just watching Lost in Society perform, they were so intense and I could feel every bit of what they were expressing through their music. Some of my favorite songs from them have to be “Generation Why” and “I Want To Know”, which are both off Modern Illusions. As a surprise, Jared Hart from The Scandals made an appearance on stage to play guitar for the last few songs of their set. Needless to say, Lost In Society was the upbeat powerhouse necessary to start off a show like this one and I would highly recommend checking them out.

As for Face To Face, it’s amazing how I never really listened to them before, but they instantly blew me away with an electrifying performance. For their entire set, I was on the balls off my feet – their music was a vicious stampede of sound and you didn’t really have time to take a break. It was just one hit after another. Definitely reminded me a lot of early Bouncing Souls, but if you also mixed in some Descendents from all the power driven bass licks and complex drumming at times. The punk band from Southern California has been in existence for over 25 years and has released 10 full-length records, including their latest Protection via Fat Wreck Chords. Being the veterans they are, it was pretty rad to see so many people singing along and rushing the stage to crowd surf. Being that there were no barricades either, it was an instant go ahead for any fans that dreamed of singing some songs with their punk heroes. Overall, both Lost In Society and Face To Face killed it and if you have never heard of either, you have some serious homework to do.

Thanks to Anthony for these great shots!


Catching Up With New Beat Fund – Headlining the Troubadour in LA on August 20th! August 15, 2015

It’s been a summer, well if you want to be technical about it, it’s been two summers since NVMP had the chance to catch up with G-punk rockers, New Beat Fund on the Van’s Warped Tour.  NBF released their debut album Sponge Fingerz back in June and have promoted it throughout the nation on the Van’s Warped Tour.  Sponge Fingerz was recorded at LA’s legendary Sound City Studio, co-produced by Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5) and mixed by Tony Hoffer (Foster the People, Beck).

New Beat Fund is headlining the Troubadour in Los Angeles with Armors and Little Wolves, get your tickets here.

Touring on the Warped Tour has its ups and downs – like the extreme heat we all endured at the show in Holmdel, NJ –  but  always inspires creating new jams and bringing artists together. The band teamed up with fellow VWT artist Mod Sun for a remix of “Sunday Funday”, remix by ID Labs and Badboxes.  Download the remix for FREE from the special Summertime Party Jams BitTorrrent bundle, also features remixes from Mystery Skulls and Priory.  You can check out one of their latest collaborations with BeBe Rexha “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” right here. 

New Beat Fund and Night Riots spent the summer touring together on the same bus and have remixed songs from each other’s albums, teaming up with WeTransfer to share them with you. “The songs fall somewhere between cover versions and remixes,” says Night Riots’ lead vocalist Travis Hawley. “We love what those guys did with our song. They made it their own and we did the same with theirs. “While living on the road we really got to enter one another’s creative brain space,” says New Beat Fund guitarist/vocalist Jeff Laliberte. “It was a lot of fun to twist and reimagine the songs to see our vibes complement each other. And we’re best fwendz.”  Fans can download the two tracks at

Remember the Instagram video parodies of scenes from iconic horror movies? You have got to watch the hilarious Sunday Fundaze videos!  Watch Episode 1 below (Iggy Azalea parody is my favorite part) and the rest on New Beat Fund’s website here.



Until next time,



Good Graeff August 4, 2015

I can’t stand when you try to talk music to some people and after you name a few bands, they say something like “Oh, I don’t listen to new music.”  That’s like saying you don’t enjoy breathing fresh air, or you’re perfectly happy watching reruns of Friends for the rest of your life.  If you do only one new thing today, let it be discovering a new band. And if you trust TNT, let that band be Good Graeff.

I had the pleasure of seeing Good Graeff live at Bowery Ballroom open for Mates of State along with Hey Marseilles in July.  Comprised of twin sisters Brook (guitar & lead vocals) and Brit (cello & backup vocals), Good Graeff is the perfect pair.  They have such an upbeat, fun energy on stage, and so original.  It sounds like every experience in their lives have influenced the music – from winning a battle of the bands together in high school together, to living apart for a few years (being a twin myself, I think this really helps twins learn who they are as individuals by ditching the ever-bounding secondary names “the twins,” “the girls,” or “you two.”) to reconnecting in Hanoi, Vietnam teaching English, hosting motorcycle tours in the countryside, and best of all, playing music together again.

20150710_222359Their music captured so many genres that it doesn’t feel right to pick just one.  Folk, rock, indie, punk, pop, indie, southern rock – I heard a bit of everything throughout their set.  Think of an upbeat Tegan and Sara without the synth blended with Kimya Dawson and Jenny Lewis, add a band, and it’s fun like the Spin Doctors or Veruca Salt.  My favorite song on their EP Good Job Go is “I Want That” but unsuspected song “Topeka” that was played stole the show for me.  Maybe because I was not expecting that sound or because it’s such a crowd pleaser that I ended up shouting “Topeka” where I thought it was needed.  They kept the crowd engaged and laughing in-between songs.  I loved that they added Spider Man to the guest list at the door because, hey, you never know, it’s New York and Peter Parker may be having a slow night.  I predict a bright musical future for Good Graeff.

See them live when you get the chance, but in the mean time grab a copy of the Good Job Go EP.  Check out their Bandcamp page here, their Facebook page here, their website here, and the only video could find featuring “Topeka” here.


Live Review: Failure at the Stone Pony June 17, 2014


May 31, 2014

The musical career of Failure can be summed up in one word: ignored. Over the course of close to a decade, three albums of increasing sonic greatness came and went with some critical success, but out much notice from the public. The gritty, lo-fi ridden quality of 1992’s Comfort was lost in the burgeoning grunge scene (which thankfully ended as soon as it began,) 1994’s Magnified was cast aside in the ashes of grunge for the emergence of alternative ‘music’ and their magnum opus (and last album,) the everlasting sonic landscape of 1996’s Fantastic Planet, was unable to find much of an audience thanks to the combined burnout from grunge/alternative, causing the masses to flee towards the developing era of commercialized hip-hop. Regardless of whether it was poor timing or major label incompetence (the band themselves have hinted towards both,) the group was never was able to catch the break that they needed and deserved. Case in point: a YouTube search for ‘Failure Live’ turns up an assortment of gigs, including a fair quality video for one of their last shows in 1997, which was big on sound for a shockingly sparse crowd.

Then, in late 2013 a surprise announcement for the reunion of Failure was announced; a band stratospheric on talent and lowly on record sales had decided to give the music world at large another shot. In the time that they had quietly gone away, Ken Andrews became a sought after Producer/Mixer, Greg Edwards found deserved success with Autolux, and Kellii Scott became in demand as a session drummer. So why reunite and tour extensively? It could have been for a number of reasons: Ken and Greg’s renewed friendship/musical partnership, a surge in album sales as of late, or the fact that their first announced gig in 17 years in February at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles sold out in 5 minutes. It could be anyone’s guess.

The real issue for Failure now is whether 17 years of dust and rust will result in a phoned in performance screaming of nostalgia or whether they would have a solid return, with the energy of a band finally basking in newly found glory, as they took the stage at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. Forgoing an opening act in favor of a short film composed of clips from influential films might have helped to draw the crowd in. But it was a clip from the eerie animated film Fantastic Planet that provided the real hook for their imminent arrival, providing a perfect segue into the expansive space-rock beauty of “Another Space Song” from Fantastic Planet. Led by bone crushing beats from Kellii Scott’s mighty drumming, Failure took the stage to a screaming audience and quickly laid all fears of nostalgia to rest.

Failure1They easily kept the momentum escalating, tearing through Magnified’s “Frogs” and “Wet Gravity,” continually slamming the crowd with the droning crunch that fans have lovingly embraced since their arrival in 1990.  And before the crowd could get comfortable, they fearlessly changed pace launching into the chords of the slow burning “Saturday Savior”. The rapidly unfolding evening revealed a carefully constructed set list, which placed songs in an order that managed to lean each cut against the next, creating a set that was compiled with true love for the material and the people who kept it alive.

The live vocals of the great Ken Andrews were vastly superior to his studio voice, reaching its chilling heights during fan favorites “Pillowhead” and “Smoking Umbrellas,” which were ironically two songs that Andrews had expressed displeasure with in his Facebook rehearsal posts. On the opposite side of the stage, the shadow-looming guitar painting of Greg Edwards provided the meticulously layered foundations for the vocals to glide over, with heavily processed sounds that wouldn’t be out-of-place in a NASA control room. The songs that benefited the most from his sci-fi soundscapes took the forms of the rhythmic angst of “Solaris” and what was definitely a welcomed surprise, the lonely, planet-orbiting “Segue 3.”

The award for hero of the evening ultimately goes to drummer Kellii Scott, who somehow managed to avoid possible jail time for instrument endangerment, brutally beating his drum set into oblivion as he matched the body smashing power of the artillery level speakers’ slam for slam, all while visibly enjoying himself. It’s rare to have a drummer who can beat low-end frequencies into submission, but Scott managed to wreck it every second of the set, reaching his peak with the best song of the night “Heliotropic.” Failure2

The only disappointment was the lack of any Comfort era songs, which originally was supposed to make an appearance in the form of “Macaque” (it ultimately had an audible called on it in favor of the more popular “Bernie”,) but it was more than made up for with the debut of a new track titled “The Focus,” which helped to fire up the anticipation in lead-up to their fourth studio album, due in 2015.

The show ended on a dramatic high with the towering “Daylight,” which felt like more of a sentimental choice in the fact that it also closed Fantastic Planet.

It was a night of ear ringing, heartbeat disturbing chaos that was masterfully put together by a band that was more than welcomed back. In Ken’s words toward the end, he remarked that the night’s show was “the best show in Asbury Park that [the band] had ever had”. I would more than agree.

-Mark B.


Ballyhoo! at Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia July 16, 2013

Filed under: Concert Reviews,Interviews — NVMP @ 9:04 PM
Tags: ,

by Alexandra Froehlich

Friday, June 28, 2013 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia is where you could find bands: Versus the World, Authority Zero and Ballyhoo! on their Summer Sickness Tour.  As people packed in I got to hang out with Howi Spangler, lead singer and guitarist of Ballyhoo!  Ballyhoo! plays reggae rock music with great lyrics and knows how to have fun.  Their latest album Pineapple Grenade came out on June 25th and is also a shot which includes:

1 oz Stoli Vanilla Vodka
– 1 oz of Malibu Rum

– ½ oz of Pineapple Juice
– Shake then pour
– A dash of Grenadine

PG. Bally

They recently had a new single called “Marijuana Laws” that expresses the bands enthusiasm to have marijuana laws banished.  The set they played at the Hard Rock in Philadelphia was amazing.  They kept the crowd dancing and singing along all night, and had wonderful stage presence and energy.  The show overall was a must see.  Getting to know Howi was the best part because he is such a down-to-earth guy who plays because he genuinely loves music and to perform.  He took the time to answer some questions for Nevermind the Posers.

Ally (AF):  Growing up in Aberdeen, MD was there a reggae rock scene? Did you all grow up in Aberdeen together or meet later on?

Howi Spangler (HS):  Yeah, the drummer is my brother and J.R., Scott and I met in about 5th grade, maybe middle school.  We started hanging out in high school; they weren’t in the band then, but another guy was.  He was our bass player, then he left and we got another bass player.  But then he left and that’s when we added J.R. and Scott.  So we have been this line up for about 10 years.  And as far as it goes with the reggae rock scene in Aberdeen, there wasn’t much, but there was a band we loved called Colouring Lesson, and they were playing reggae rock before anyone even knew what to call it.  And I fell in love with Sublime and Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish and No Doubt.  I just took it all and made my music.  So we were really the ones around that area to make it known.

AF:  How did you come up with the name Ballyhoo!?

HS:  We were kids when we started the band.  We were coming up with different names and a friend of ours said you should call your band Ballyhoo, it just means loud noise, crazy events, blatant advertising ‘look at me-look at me’, and it fit because I thought we were loud noise playing in my mom’s basement and it was really colorful in my mind.  We just put the exclamation point on there and it was the first flier for our first show.

AF:  As a band you have traveled all over North America, which city and state is your favorite to play in and why?

HS:  There’s a few; I don’t know if there is a particular favorite, obviously we love playing Baltimore.  Philly is always great and we played in New York City last night.  St. Pete’s Florida is usually beautiful weather, San Diego, LA, and Hollywood are always great too.

AF:  When you have free time, what do you enjoy doing?

HS:  I like to play hidden object games on my laptop because I am a nerd, and I like to record demos and what not.  I just love creating.  I’ve always drawn; I used to draw a lot as a kid.  I wanted to write books, draw comic books, create video games, make iPhone apps and of course create music.  I write most of the music for Ballyhoo! and some of the guys will also have ideas and we just run with it if it fits with our music style.  But we’re always looking to branch out, so we’re not putting out the same album.  There are always new sounds to discover.

AF:  Ballyhoo! has come a long way since the beginning and have a pretty loyal fan base now, how does it feel when you take the stage at shows?

HS:  It feels amazing.  It’s definitely uplifting, it’s an adrenaline rush knowing that people are there to hear our songs.  To see them singing or screaming our songs back to us, and knowing that you came from sitting on your bed writing them down…the live experience is where it’s at.  We try to always put on the best show possible, because when you put on a show the fans pay a hundred percent of the money to see you, so you put on a hundred percent performance. Just try to have a good time.

AF:  What is one thing you try to achieve with your music?

HS:  It all starts for me with myself.  I write things for myself then once they get recorded, they become everyone else’s.  Once it goes there, I want to make sure people have a good time, can relate to the songs.  This one guy last week actually, came up to me and told me that he was actually in Afghanistan for a year and lost a few of his boys in an IED attack on his convoy.  His friends passed right in front of him, and he went through this traumatized stage of his life.  He has three kids and a wife, and he wanted to kill himself.  He was watching a YouTube playlist or something and “Ricochet” came on and he just stopped.  He told me this and I was like that’s really heavy, it’s just like, damn.  So when I hear things like that, it’s not about me anymore.  Now it’s we have a duty to give this music to give everyone.  It’s wild man.  I told that man that I was so glad that he was still here.  We’re just always looking to promote positivity, just want to make people happy.

AF:  If you can say one thing to your fans what would it be?

HS:  Thank you, because there is no way we could keep doing this without you guys.  We could not make it if they didn’t come to our shows and buy our merch, we just couldn’t do it.  We get calls all the time saying that places want to book us because people want to see us and I just couldn’t be more appreciative of that.  The fans keep us going.

AF:  What is your definition of a poser?

HS:  Haha, that’s awesome because poser is such a big word.  I used to use it all the time as a kid, I think it’s somebody that doesn’t fully own up to it or whatever he’s trying to do.  If you’re going for something, commit.  Do it right, go all the way.  Don’t do it cause you think it’s cool, do it because you love it.  Do it because you’re into it and feel it.  Just do you and do what you want to do and whatever you do, give all of yourself.  That would be my definition of a poser.

Howi took the stage and rocked it with his fellow band members after that.  They played about 15 songs from old and new albums and played “Marijuana Laws”.  They took pineapple grenade shots on stage and played two encore songs.  If you don’t have your copy of Pineapple Grenade yet, it’s a must get!


Clinic @ Le Poisson Rouge on 4/20 May 19, 2013

Filed under: Concert Reviews — NVMP @ 9:06 PM

Review by Hoverbee

Clinic1A long, long way from Liverpool, Clinic kicked off the 6th show of their 2013 tour in support of their new album Free Reign at 158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY.  Taking the stage in full Clinic fashion sporting surgeons face masks, Ade Blackburn’s with a small hole cut in the center for singing, amid colorful lighting, Clinic became a reality to me.

The intimate setting of Le Poisson Rouge provided the audience with the sense that they could touch the band.  The feeling hummed through the enthusiastic diversely aged crowd.  All in attendance were enveloped in the music, many dancing and singing along.  The band was fantastic live and it was wonderful how great they sounded.  It was as though we were inside a rolling locomotive.  They played a well-balanced set list with the songs “Miss You,” “See Saw,” and “You” from the new album, “Orangutan” and “Lion Tamer” from Bubblegum, “Tusk” and “Children of Kellogg” from Visitations, “Walking with Thee” from the same titled album and a few songs off their early EPs.  Far be it from me to argue with Clinic’s set list choices, but I very much longed to hear them play “Harvest (Within You)” and “If You Could Read Your Mind” also from Visitations.    Ah…the longing continues.

Not counting that small hiccup, overall it was a very satisfying show.  Well done Clinic!  Being that I was seeing the band for the first time, I was unaware that they are known for notoriously short shows (about 25 min) and early in their career for never doing encores.  The show was way too short for a Clinic junky like me, but the band did come back out and do three more songs.  However, these songs do appear on the set list.  Perhaps it’s a “faux encore” done to psychologically lengthen the show and make fans happy.  Either way, I sparked like a match when they returned to the stage.  After the show, I hung around and tried to snag a copy of the coveted set list, but to no avail.  I did, however, meet a nice couple from Toronto who not only got a set list, but were seeing the band again when they returned home.  The nice Canadian gentleman was quoted as saying, “We’re seeing them in three days, but we just had to see them in Greenwich.”  Lucky lollies!  The couple then let me snap a picture of their set list with my phone.  Much thanks to them and to the band for making it a glorious 4/20!



World/Inferno Friendship Society at Asbury Lanes 3/28/2013 May 1, 2013

Filed under: Concert Reviews — NVMP @ 8:38 PM

Review by Angela Blasi

WI 1

WI 3

The World/Inferno Friendship Society has taken their circus act across the globe and in the twelve years I have been listening to them, seeing them come full circle in the Ancestral Homeland of New Jersey brought a new perspective to the cult-like cabaret.  Walking in, a few first impressions were evident.  Compared to the crowds of old, I found the Lanes to be emptier than I would expect for a home show.  I have followed the Inferno far and wide and have found this current line up to be lack luster in presence.  Although the music is still sharp, full of raucous energy and poignantly executed by the ever-charming Jack Terricloth, the band itself felt like a bunch of day players behind him.  They played the fan favorites, from the classic opener “Tattoos Fade,” “Zen and the Art of Breaking Everything in this Room” and “My Ancestral Homeland New Jersey” to newer songs like “Thumb Cinema,” which is chock full of punk rock staccato momentum, and “Pickles and Gin.”

Despite the small crowd and more reserved band of players, The World/Inferno still delivered to an enamored audience with the heart of an army.  Jack was his chatty self, providing history lessons and anecdotes alike in between lyrics that never seem to lose their steam.  I have always loved the interaction between band and crowd, as a night with the World/Inferno Friendship Society is so much more than just the music; it’s an experience meant to be shared in by all who attend.

WI 2      WI4      WI5


Finch – What It Is To Burn 10th Anniversary Tour April 2, 2013

Filed under: Concert Reviews — NVMP @ 7:10 AM
Tags: , ,

Review by Ryan Bright

photo (3)

This year Finch decided to embark on a 10th anniversary tour in honor of their breakout album What It Is To Burn, which seems to be all the rage with bands of their variety.  While most bands use this type of show to bring their careers to an end or put an era of music behind them and move on, Finch however used this opportunity as a rebirth.  Over the last few years, Finch had fallen off the radar with lackluster albums sales, unsuccessful tours and dreaded lineup changes.  When they first announced this tour only two dates and locations were given, one being LA and the other London.  I jumped at the opportunity to see them in their home town and purchased tickets immediately.  With the overwhelming response and immediate sell outs, Finch added more shows.  My friends and I decided to make a vacation out of this and also see them in New York and Philadelphia when they made their way to the east coast.

We arrived in California a few days before the show with enough time to catch up with friends and prepare ourselves for this highly anticipated performance.  I’ve always wanted to see a show at the Glass House in Pomona, CA.  As an east coaster, I’ve seen this venue on the tour itineraries of my favorite bands.  On Friday February 1st the Glass House was electric; this hometown venue was alive.  As soon as the lights dropped and the first notes of “New Beginnings” rang from the speakers, the place exploded.  Finch took the stage with such vigor, like a band hungry to prove something.  The thing is, What It Is To Burn Speaks for itself.  They have nothing to prove, except maybe to themselves.  The songs still sound fresh ten years later.  The band sounded tight and the sound quality was great.  With a long time to prepare for this night, I would’ve been seriously disappointed if the sound wasn’t on point.  The lighting and production was the best I’ve ever seen Finch have and commemorative screen printed posters were a nice touch.  I was very excited for Grey Matter and they did not disappoint.  The energy was high and, with a fresh voice, the guttural screams were brutal.  “Stay With Me” was as fun to hear and jump around to as it was when I was 16.  All of the songs sounded phenomenal but a true standout for me was “Ender.”  I nearly cried.  “Ender” is a beautifully crafted song and not the typical heavy post hardcore sound.  It’s a soulful ballad that anyone can relate to.  It brings you to a time when you are fighting for a loved one, whether it worked out or not.  They ended the show with “What It Is To Burn,” obviously.  By this point of the show, I was exhausted.  I hung out in the back and just enjoyed the final few moments of what was an incredible night.

Fast forward a little over a month later, Finch made their way to my neck of the woods.  I decided to attend their second night in NYC at the Gramercy theatre.  The Gramercy is a smaller, more intimate venue with what I feel is a better setup than Irving Plaza, where they played the night before.  When I walked in, it felt like I was attending a local VFW show on a Saturday afternoon.  There was no one there.  When the opening band The Almost took the stage there was no more than 150 people inside.  The only thing I could wrap my head around was the fact that the night before was sold out and this show wasn’t nearly as promoted as the previous night.  I didn’t mind though because I had a fantastic spot to view the show from.  When Finch took the stage, the placed filled up but not to capacity.  This show was good but didn’t have the energy that the Glass House did.  There was no action in the pit but people were singing along and looked generally pleased.  The band was obviously a little intoxicated and joked about it onstage.  Some of the songs were a little sloppy, especially the ones with intricate picking patterns like “Post Script.”  The band also seemed a bit tired, possibly from not being used to the life cycle of a touring band.  The lead guitarists’ effects were also not set properly which also did not help the overall sound of the show.  I mentioned these things to my friend who doesn’t play an instrument and she didn’t even notice.  I was a little more critical of this show because the last show stellar.  The set was exactly the same and we left a little early because working people can’t stay out late on week nights.

Two nights later, I drove down to Philadelphia to catch Finch play at the Electric Factory.  The Electric Factory is a great place to see a show, especially if you are of legal drinking age because the balcony bar has great sight lines and a wide selection of beers.  The Almost opened this night as well and had a little bit better of a reception than they did at The Gramercy.  I was surprised at the lack of response for The Almost.  Given that they had two videos on MTV2 from when they still showed videos, I would’ve at least expected a nice amount of cheers, but alas lackluster to say the least.  I enjoyed them and thought they had great sound and band chemistry.  Finch took the stage in the same fashion as at The Glass House, apparently sober and hungry to show that they still have it.  The crowd was feeling it;  sing–a-longs, hugs and high fives were abundant.  The sound on the floor wasn’t so good, but the energy of the band and the crowd definitely made up for it.  “Awake” and “Three Simple Words” were especially tight and a true gems of the evening.   Once again I realized that I’m too old for the pit and headed to the balcony with my cousin.  We watched the remainder of the show, from “Ender” on, from the balcony with fantastic seats because some other folks decided what I did the night before, to bounce a tad early.  Finch ended the show with “What It Is To Burn” and we made our way into the Philly night to make drunken messes of ourselves on Saint Patty’s Day weekend.

I’m glad I went to all three shows.  No band is perfect and every show won’t be a 10, but 2 out of 3 isn’t bad, and who can argue with that?  It was nice to see the band having fun and you could tell they were from the banter on stage.  For a band that teetered on the edge of self-destruction several times, it seems like they put the past behind them in an attempt to move forward.  I mean the bad past not the good past which is What It Is To Burn.  That flame will burn on way into the future whether they remain a band or not.


Ballyhoo! 2/9/13 at Gramercy Theater, NYC March 3, 2013

Filed under: Concert Reviews — NVMP @ 3:11 PM


Review by Angela Blasi

On February 9th, 2013 Maryland natives Ballyhoo! brought their eclectic mix of punk, pop, rock and reggae that refuses to be pigeon-holed into one genre to NYC’s Gramercy Theater.  They’ve been associated with names such as 311 and The Dirty Heads, and earned some chops on the Van’s Warped Tour, giving them a well-deserved spot among some awesome infusions of rock and reggae.

As I stood in a crowd buzzing with friendly energy and the lingering scent of cannabis smoke, anticipation for the group gaining momentum and doing it themselves, grew.  A feel-good band with a light heart and soul, Ballyhoo! engages their audience from start to finish, often feeling just as comfortable as listening in your own living room.  Howi, Mista J, Blaze and Big D put on a great show, playing a variety of songs from their three albums; two of which were self-released.  Musically, they were tight as a military band, possibly even sounding better live than some recorded versions.  The guys have a great stage presence and really know how to engage the crowd, ensuring everyone can sing along even if it’s their first time seeing the band.

They kept banter short, unafraid to launch into the next song with charisma and confidence.  In doing so, the crowd was entertained the whole set through; a sea of bodies could be seen from all angles moving and dancing along with the rhythms.  I really admire their overall performance.  Even though the music is what everyone has come for, the band offers a well-rounded experience.  Despite the venue’s set up and size, Ballyhoo! effortlessly and cheerfully adapts, engaging their fans to be a proactive part of the show’s experience which guarantees a fun show no matter what night you get to see them.

Though it’s an understatement, fun really is one of the core elements of their live show.  Never boring, it’s easy to tell the guys love what they do and want to share their passion, which keeps the fans moving from start to finish; eager to jump as high as they can each time they’re told to do so.

Overall,  Ballyhoo! put on an unforgettable experience, even playing two new tracks to delight their New York listeners.  None the less, older tracks like “Cerveza” and “Cali Girl” were noticeable crowd favorites.  Easy to listen to, great to dance to and definitely music to take with you on a long trip or a cruise to the beach, Ballyhoo! did not disappoint and I recommend feasting your senses on all they have to offer as often as possible.