Motion City Soundtrack
On November 4th, Toronto’s Sound Academy was filled with 16+ fans for an alternative rock show, a different audience than what we usually cover. This fall, Motion City Soundtrack and Say Anything’s take on a co-headline tour, bringing out indie band Saves The Day and jazz rockers A Great Big Piles of Leaves.
A Great Big Pile Of Leaves
As the show started, the Sound Academy was not as packed as usual, people were still filling in. Perhaps due to the fact that the set times were publicized. It appears that the line up is filled with “not so generic” bands.. The Brooklyn band A Great Big Pile of Leaves played a few melodic indie tracks to open the show.. The band’s music can definitely get one’s head bobbing along with its jerky guitars. Their new album Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex? is up for free download – get to it!
Saves The Day
The next band is emo/pop-punk act Saves The Day, the band has been around since 1994 which makes it the oldest band on the lineup, with a pretty large fan base. Never listened to the band before their set, but lead singer Chris Conley’s voice caught me by surprise: it was very different than I expected and what I used to listening to. It’s rather high pitched and smooth. Although the music was not hardcore or intense, there were a bunch of crowdsurfers enjoying themselves. Finally, the band played “At Your Funeral” to a cheering crowd in applause. Their new album will be released in 2011 after 4 years.
Motion City Soundtrack
Motion City Soundtrack played on the main stage of Vans Warped Tour this summer, but it was unsatisfying. Known for their quirky and highly energized performances, the five piece pop-punk band opened their 16 songs set with The Weakends. The band has a different setlist every night (which is posted on their Tumblr) to ensure the freshness of their performance. With his wild hair and nerdy black framed glasses, lead singer Justin Pierre is one of the most intriguing and charismatic front men out there. He is talkative, knows how to engage the audience (his talking voice is much more magnetic than his singing voice, seriously). Despite being on keyboard, Jesse Johnson was in constant motion, hitting the keys with intensity. I honestly thought the set was too short and didn’t even notice they played 16 songs. Before the show started, I saw a physical replica of the dinosaur on Motion City Soundtrack’s latest album My Dinosaur Life – the costume was made for a contest held by Jam Van and the winner received tickets to the show. Justin Pierre spotted the dinosaur head in the crowd and said, “did you make that yourself? I appreciate art in all forms.” It probably made his day.
Fan in homemade dino costume
Here’s the set list:
The last act Say Anything opened with Crush’d, a relative quiet and anti-climatic choice for an entrance song. But as the music stops at a depressing note with the repeating lines “did it hurt? did it hurt when you fell from heaven girl?” – that’s when the real energy kicks in. Max Bemis’ strong and monotonic voice combined with the band’s irony laden songs powerfully engaged with the audience.
Text and photos by Jessie Lau
Translated by Jaime Chu