Live: Motion City Soundtrack

Motion City Soundtrack

Last Saturday night was a wild one at In The Venue.  Motion City Soundtrack appeared with Metro Station, Anberlin and Mae. 

I took my 13 year old son and two of his friends and they crowd surfed for the first time.  I was a little worried, but luckily there were no injuries, even though the crowd DROPPED my son TWICE!  (Who do I sue?) 

Motion City is a lot of fun.  They have a unique sound (although Justin’s voice reminds me of The Format) and the right mix of pop-emo-rock-punk.  Their shows are typically very energetic (to the point where stuff can get out of hand) but this time, they were a little more subdued.  It’s the first time we have seen them as the headliners, and maybe that pressure has made them a little more mellow, or maybe they were a little tired. 

The show opened with Metro Station, a very young band whose chief claim to fame appears to be that its leader is the son of Billy Ray Cyrus, which means that he is the real-life brother of (wait for it) Disney power-princess Hannah Montana! (Miley Cyrus).  They played to a relatively empty room.  The crowd was just getting into place when Anberlin took the stage.


These guys are from Florida, and they clearly know how to rock.  They have the whole package: looks, talent, charisma… I haven’t heard much about them before, but they are definitely a band to watch.  I was impressed. 

Mae was a different story.  They are clearly talented and have some terrific songs, but there’s no chemistry, no stage presence.  Some bands have more natural feel for this, but I think it’s something that can be learned so I have hope for Mae, but they were not particularly entertaining.  I also think they need a new name; Mae sounds lame for a rock band.  It’s like meeting a normal-looking guy who turns out to be named Sue.  It’s not good.  And these guys need all the help they can get.  They play good music and they play it well; they just need to improve the intangibles a bit.

 By the time Motion City walked onstage, the crowd was primed.  MCS is touring behind a new album, Even if it Kills Me, which I had not heard much of.  The new songs went over well with the crowd, and I generally think the new album sounds as good or better than their previous material, although I suspect their biggest hits will continue to be from the previous album, Commit This To Memory.  The crowd had been pogoing, slamming and surfing most the night, but went spinning out of control on the first Motion City number, singing along from the opening line.  The lead singer, Justin Pierre, (he of the finger-in-a-light-socket hairdo) has a great voice, but a lousy knack for stage banter.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you don’t have a talent for it, just don’t do it.  Sadly, most bands never learn that rule.  MCS ended with its biggest hit to date, Everything is Alright (which is just a great song) and the place exploded.  I thought the crowd was nuts before, but they kicked it up a notch and reached a level of pandemonium heretofore unglimpsed in the heart of Zion.  The security guys were completely overwhelmed by crowd surfers and general craziness.  It was a fun night and a good show, and the boyzz are still buzzing from their first crowd surfing safari.  If this tour comes to your town, definitely check it out.


13 Responses

  1. How fun! I remember the first metal show I took my son to, he was about 13, and I was paranoid someone would crash into him and he’d get hurt. He didn’t get in the pit or anything, but we walked past it. (Of course, I think metal pits are a little bit different than pop-punk pits.)

  2. Susan:

    I haven’t been to many metal shows, but I can’t imagine that they’re a lot different. The mosh pits I have seen lately are just all about everyone crashing into each other at high speed.

    I didn’t know my son and his buds were going to surf, or I wouldn’t have let them out of my sight. Finding out after the fact was horrifying. I was watching the concert from the adults-only balcony, and I remember thinking that the crowd surfers were nuts. Little did I know.

  3. Haha, that’s awesome.

    At metal shows, they do this thing that I think of as a helicopter move. Don’t know if they call it that. But it’s literally flailing your arms around like they’re helicopter blades. And then doing spin kicks on top of that.

    I discovered this when we went to an all ages metal show a few years back and there was a giant whole in the crowd right up front. I had my camera and wanted to get close for pics, so I thought, “These kids must be scared to get right up next to the stage,” little did I know one of those kids—a girl—was doing these “dance” moves. I almost got her boot to the side of my head.

  4. Here we go (look out, lots of swearing in the music):

    What’s really funny is when you go to a show and see people doing this, then right behind them, there are people making fun of them, and they don’t know it.

  5. Sounds like fun!!! Why is it you go to these shows again? The pretty music? The sing-alongs?

  6. You’d be surprised. 3 Inches of Blood, the band I went to see where I almost got a boot in the head, has some great sing-along songs.

    But no, mostly it’s for the intensity.

  7. I think I get it. Have you ever heard of Burning Brides?

  8. Yeah, seems like they play in LA quite a bit. Haven’t caught them though. Why?

  9. A friend of mine in LA met one of them and had a long discussion about music in general and their band in particular. Seemed like an interesting guy.

  10. I’ve heard good things about them.

    Glad to see you posting over at KB now!

  11. Motion City Coundtrack is wha i listen to when i want a good melody. If you like story albums Try some Coheed and Cambria….Amazing

  12. Michael, I really like Coheed & Cambria. Thanks for the suggestion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: