August 7, 2015 Motion City Soundtrack Bring Joy to The Space at Westbury, NY 7-24-15 w/ Sorority Noise & The Spill Canvas
Sometimes the origin of success is all about timing. As Guitarist/Vocalist Joshua Cain’s band Saddest Girl Story and Vocalist/Guitarist Justin Pierre’s Slide Coaster both separated, the two would come together to form a new project called Motion City Soundtrack that has stood strong for nearly two decades. While the band would change faces as they found their sound, by 2002 the lineup was set and consists of founders Pierre and Cain, along with Jesse Johnson (moog synthesizer, keyboard), Matthew Taylor (bass guitar, piano, vocals), as well as newest addition Claudio Rivera (drums). Releasing the debut album I Am The Movie in 2003, it was not until 2005’s Commit This To Memory when the band would reach massive praise peaking in charts with their mature Pop-Rock sound. Now celebrating the tenth anniversary of the milestone album, Motion City Soundtrack took the road in the beginning of the year for two months of touring that was so good they decided to come back for a second leg this Summer for seventeen dates in total. Amidst the scheduled run that concluded on August 2nd, the band came to The Space at Westbury, New York on Friday July 24th for a celebration that would include support from Sorority Noise and The Spill Canvas.
As the lights went down, Sorority Noise were greeted by an already packed theater early on. As the fans cheered, Cameron Boucher (guitar/vocals), Ryan McKenna (bass/vocals), Adam Ackerman (guitar, vocals), and Charlie Singer (drums) began a set that would set the bar for the rest of the night. Based out of Hartford, Connecticut, this Alternative Punk act formed in 2013, and by 2015 are considered one of the “100 Bands You Need to Know” according to Alternative Press. Quoted as saying, “I don’t want to be in an emo band anymore, but I have no problem with people calling us that, because in the strictest of senses, we are an emotionally driven band,” Boucher and the rest of Sorority Noise proved that point with a powerful performance that included songs from their 2014 effort, Forgettable, and their most recent, 2015’s Joy, Departed.
Opening with “Noisey,” the band showcased their raw Rock sound to perfection. Taking a second before playing the very catchy “Using,” Boucher thanked those in attendance for coming to see the band play and brought light to the issue of depression and the havoc it can bring to someone. As the song played, it resonated deeply with many fans, and after their performance a multiple of fans were seen approaching Boucher, thanking him for not only the great music, but the powerful message attached to it. Dealing out hugs and jokingly offering “Free shirts, only $25,” Boucher remained in good spirits throughout the night. The band introduced “Blonde Hair, Black Lungs” and “Rory Shield” from their debut, along with catchy tunes “Art School Wannabe” and closed with atmosphere builder “Your Soft Blood.” Celebrating their release of Joy, Departed, the band continues to tour and will be returning to New York again performing in Brooklyn on the 14th of August and again at Riis Park Beach Bazaar on the 16th. Fans along the East Coast would be doing themselves a great disservice by missing this band live.
With the crowd’s emotions running high, The Spill Canvas had a tough act to follow, but they seemed up to the task in front of them. Out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the band was originally a side project for vocalist Nick Thomas, but The Spill Canvas soon took on a life of its own and became a full band act. While the faces changed, the roster soon set as they released Sunsets and Car Crashes in 2004, followed by One Fell Swoop a year later. Continuing to build steam and gain notoriety with their 2007 album No Really, I am Fine, they gained first taste of commercial as the single “All Over You” rose through the charts, cracking the Top 40. While the band would part ways for a short time, it served to allow the members to return with fresh ideas in 2011, releasing their newest album Gestalt in 2012. Sustaining a handful of lineup changes, as of July their respective configuration joining Thomas is Justin Jensen (guitar), Bryce Job (drums/vocals), and Landon Heil (bass). With a ton of buzz around them, The Space attendees were cheering their name the moments before they came to the stage to keep the energy flowing.
Opening with the very fun “Lust a Prima Vista,” the crowd willingly began to move along with the music. As the song neared its end, everyone joined in with Thomas’s double clap before they continued with great tracks such as “Break a Leg” and “Staplegunned” and touring guitarist Jensen rocked on lead. Treating fans to a set that showed off tracks from all of their albums, The Spill Canvas would go on to play the aforementioned hit “All Over You” before closing with the powerful “The Tide.” Touring regularly with bands such as the Plain White Tees, the Goo Goo Dolls and Motion City Soundtrack has helped The Spill Canvas steadily build a strong following that was clearly present at The Space. Concluding the ten year anniversary tour with Motion City Soundtrack, The Spill Canvas now focus on their own ten year anniversary tour in celebration for One Fell Swoop. Running from now through August 28th, the band continue to catch minds and hearts of fans around the globe.
Following two strong opening acts, the capacity crowd at The Space was pumped when Motion City Soundtrack was ready to take the stage. Last visiting the Long Island area back in 2013 on Vans Warped Tour, the return was welcomed for many who have traveled into Manhattan and New Jersey since to catch their shows. Opening with track one off Commit This To Memory, “Attractive Today,” the crowd was immediately moved into frenzy. While the song might have jump-started the excitement, it was when Rivera began the opening for “Everything is Alright” that the fans lost their collective minds. Jumping around and singing along, the crowd would maintain this high level of energy the rest of the night. Playing through an all-star set list, playing each track off the record including, of course, “L. G. FUAD” and “This is for Real,” the crowd hung on Pierre’s every word. Keeping the mood friendly, Pierre took the time between each track to humor the crowd with his quick wit. In fact, early in the set he would have fun placing his foot over the set list as a photographer tried to take a photo of it. With a scream of “NO,” he scared off the photographer before quickly saying “Just, kidding!” Later, with a puff of smoke lingering in the air, he joked about what it must have been.
Continuing on with hit after hit, the crowd continued cheering, the encore began with “Invisible Monsters.” Giving the crowd a taste of what was to come and provoking a positive reaction, they played “TKO” off their upcoming Panic Stations album. Giving “A Lifeless Ordinary (Need A Little Help)” a chance to shine, “Her Words Destroyed My Planet” and “Last Night” kept everyone enthralled. Building up for the grand finale “Capital H” and “This is for Real” came right before fans were ready to bust a move for debut album cut “The Future Freaks Me Out.” After taking a small recess, the band returned for a second encore, playing one last song that had everyone singing along with “My Favorite Accident.” As the house lights came up, the band humbly expressed their gratitude, throwing guitar picks, the set list, and drum sticks into sea of fans, ending the show on a high note.
Having concluded their US tour, Motion City Soundtrack now set their eyes on the land down under for a string of shows in Australia. While fans impatiently wait for the September 18th release date of Panic Stations, it is strongly encouraged to check out the single “TKO” in the meantime. With a reputation of touring heavily, fans can also certainly look forward to more US dates to be posted before year’s end in support of the new record, so keep a look out.