This past Sunday I hopped on the red line and headed over to Cambridge to see The World is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die (from here on referred to as TWIABP), Foxing, Brightside, and People Like You. After both Foxing and TWIABP both released new albums this fall it was to be expected that the show would sell out, and that it did; In fact there were almost as many people in the venue as there were members of TWIABP. This was only my second visit to the Sinclair, but I knew it was the perfect venue for the show; the standing pit is large enough to hold a few hundred people and still have room for an ~actual~ pit and there’s an upstairs mezzanine if you want to have drinks and watch the show from above. So this was a perfect way to spend the last Sunday before finals week.
The first band that went on was People Like You, from Boston. I had never heard of them, but I’m ashamed I hadn’t after the eclectic set they played. Their jazzy tunes got everyone in the mood for the rest of the bill that night and everyone was totally encapsulated by the lead singer’s powerful vocals. Alongside the trumpet, bass, keyboard, guitar, and drums the sound could easily get muddled and complicated but People Like You had full control over each instrument and kept the sound coordinated and smooth. Even though most of the crowd didn’t know the words, I could tell they wished they did so they could jam along.
The second opener was Brightside, a four piece band from Pennsylvania. As soon as they began they reminded me of Told Slant, or like, the kind of music you would play on a rainy day to cheer you up. The crowd clearly felt the same way as they ushered closer to the stage during the set. Although their guitarist wasn’t able to tour with them, they had three different band members from TWIABP and Foxing fill in for him. The folky vocals mixed with the poppy and upbeat guitar and drums went over well with the crowd and by the end of their set we wished we could have a little bit more; basically if you showed up for TWIABP you probably loved Brightside.
Ah, Foxing. The St Louis, Missouri band attacked Autumn with their new album Dealer, which got amazing reviews and feedback both online and clearly from the sold out show. After seeing them play at our school earlier this year I knew they were pretty good but I didn’t know they were this good. Their set was an eclectic mixture of old and new (but they clearly showcased the new), and let me tell you it was incredible. Conor Murphy, the vocalist/occasional trumpeter, delivered awe inducing vocals that were soft but powerful when they needed to be and sounded very emotionally charged. Murphy put his soul into the performance as did the rest of the band, judging by the amount of fun they had on stage and how much they repeatedly thanked the audience for both selling out the show, and being so supportive. I also have to thank the Sinclair and Foxing for the quality of sound during their set because it wouldn’t have been nearly as great without the incredible audio they provided. My personal favorite of the night from Foxing was “Night Channels” from their new album. During the song the crowd erupted, mirroring the emotion in the piano and melody, which shot through the roof while performed live. Their set was concluded by a trumpet-playing Murphy crowdsurfing during the last minute of their final song; if you haven’t checked out Dealer yet, you know what you need to do.
While the current 9 members of TWIABP began setting up onstage, the crowd that had been slowly increasing throughout the night somehow decreased for their set. However the excitement for the band only grew and the crowd was happy to have the space to hurdle themselves across the pit at one another. Opening with “Blank #11” into the popular and political “January 10, 2014” from their new albumHarmlessness, TWIABP kicked off the show with a bang. Personally, I think it would’ve been better to play those in the middle of their set when everyone was more excited than warming up into them but hey, I can’t complain since the rest of their set was just as incredible. Mixing old with new, they aided the flow of the set in between songs by bantering with the audience, specifically when the (slightly drunk) guitarist/vocalist Derrick decided to tune his guitar for 6 minutes while having a full conversation with multiple members of the crowd. It’s safe to say it was a very intimate show. In addition to playing new songs “The Word Lisa”, “Rage Against The Dying of the Light”, and “We Need More Skulls”, TWIABP took a trip back in time and played “Victim Kin Seek Suit” and “Gordon Paul” from their first EP Formlessness. The crowd was sufficiently pumped during the entire set and the pit never seemed to quit as majority of the people were jumping/dancing/hurdling themselves around the room. Over all their set was better than I could have imagined and they brought it to a triumphant close with “Getting Sodas”, joined by Foxing, Brightside, and People Like You all squished onto stage playing together. Since Boston was the last date of their Fall tour, you could tell that all the bands were equally sad to see it end and very sentimental towards their time with one another. Although my selfish ass wishes they played “You Can’t Stay Here Forever” the opening track off their latest LP (which is unbelievable by the way), the entire bill flowed with perfection from one band to the next with the perfect overlap of similarities to tie them together, making the tour a significant success and giving the audience more than what they paid for.