another week, another show in doylestown. we've been having a good streak of shows lately, good lineups and good turnouts with more awesome shit on the horizon for february and march so hopefully things still keep going the way they're going.
anyway tonight's show was a gig i've been looking forward to since i caught best intentions at the moose lodge a month or two ago with tiger's jaw. they definitely stole the show and blew myself and a lot of other people away, they obviously have their high school on lockdown but i took it upon myself to convert some of the older crowd onto the best intentions tip. young ass kids playing catchy pop-punk with the right attitude. i can dig it.
there were a lot of people at this show - 291 paid, a staggered works record. this was probably the first show for a lot of kids, there were many young ass kids in the crowd, and as far as first shows go this was a pretty decent one.
throw me overboard (not to be confused with the similarly named pop-punk band from this general area "man overboard", because i think they are confused a lot) opened the show. it was their second show, i saw the only other one they've played in a barn in holland and was kind of impressed, they seem pretty tight at what they're doing. the vocals could use some work though, not every pop-punk band has to have syrupy-sweet "poppy" vocals but the singer's voice is so gruff (re: he's basically singing for a hardcore band but it just happens to be pop punk) that he seems out of place, like he showed up to the wrong show or something. hey, it's pop punk! you won't look "gay" if you actually sing, try it out. still early on for this band though so they could go either way.
title fight played next, a ton of kids crowded the front of the stage area and were ready to rock out. it's funny and awesome that title fight is regarded so highly in the "normal kid" high school scene around here, it only took us like two and a half years of bringing them to doylestown until they became a "household name". i've seen title fight play amazing sets and lackluster ones (i've probably seen this band like 15 times at this point), and this was a great one. they played old hits and people went nuts, they played new songs and they sounded good. alex russin, brother of ben and ned and among other accomplishments, the only man who played EVERY posi #s and this is hardcore with one band or another, did guest vocals on a song and acted like donkey kong. cool. i tried to dive and found the stage itself at the moose almost literally undiveable (at least for me), so please remind me of this fact before i embarrass myself again. obviously a lot of young, excusably clueless kids were pushmoshing and doing whatever during this set, some dudes who were old enough to know better "got hard" on the dance floor and made fools of themselves - bob meadows made me make an announcement on the mic on this topic before war pigs, the offending parties saw the error of their ways and the problem was solved. for the record though, moshing "hard" to a pop-punk band is silly shit 90% of the time (statement null and void when erection kids used to cover 'among the living'), especially when it involves getting tough with a 10th grader trying to hop up and down and push his friends from science class.
war pigs played next, a better set from them than any i've seen recently. they sounded tight minus some fuck-ups from kokinda's equipment that made it sound like the guitar from guitar hero when you're not playing right for a song or two. after that it was all gravy, i'm not sold on the new record yet but the new songs were sounding good enough for me to give it a second chance. a great cover of "world peace" was thrown in and i moshed with an american flag, 'nuff said. i think that might have actually been on my list of life goals to accomplish before i die. despite being the only hardcore band on the lineup a lot of non-core kids checked them out and they got a great response, i was proud of the crowd for being open-minded enough to check out a band they don't have 3rd period study hall with or something.
balance and composure went next, i was worn out from war pigs so i hung back a little bit. almost the entire show crowded towards the stage and kids were crowd-surfing and shit, it was pretty funny. much singing along and girls having religious experiences while they played, definitely a hype-band amongst the youth of doylestown but unlike the ones that came before they might actually deserve it with original songs and decent musicianship. this was the first time i saw erik play guitar for them and had i realized that sooner i probably would have paid closer attention, but from where i was standing (behind the throngs of people crowded up front) everything sounded pretty good.
best intentions ended up headlining for some reason, i think the lineup for this show was a little wonky but it worked in spite of itself. BI's set was great but i think it would have been better closer to the middle of the show because it seemed like a lot of the show/their fanbase had to leave for bedtime or something by the time they played. still an awesome set, most of the show was crowded up front going nuts, i set off a sum 41 cover with them (fat lip, and oft-covered doylestown favorite - but hey at least i'm from the town next to where sum was from in ontario) and the vibes were definitely great. it's impossible to watch this band without a smile on your face, too fucking fun. they're tenth graders who are good enough to make post-high school pop punk bands look fucking stupid. i hope they stick together, they're not at title fight status of talent at a young age but they're not that far off, either way i'd like to see where they're at by the time high school's over. at any rate they're one of the best assets doylestown has going for it right now, and i back them 100%.
all in all a good show with good vibes, there was some inevitable friction but all in all the crowd of over 300 (when you count bands and other lowlifes who didn't pay) hardcore kids, pop punk kids, kids from around here, kids from far away, normals, and more meshed pretty well given the circumstances. everyone involved in tonight's show deserves a pat on the back, it was one to remember.
Photos by: Liz G