Concert Review – Manchester Orchestra, Balance and Composure, and Kevin Devine at Terminal 5, NYC

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Photo by:  Ashley Silva

 

Terminal 5 was packed to its 3,000 person capacity Thursday, May 22 as Manchester Orchestra came to town, bringing along friends Balance and Composure and Kevin Devine and the Godamn Band. All three of the acts have released albums within the past two years that were made to played live. Manchester Orchestra’s Cope is a raw, punch you in the mouth, sort of rock and roll album, full of huge distorted guitars accompanied by Andy Hull’s soaring voice. Balance and Composure’s The Things We Think We’re Missing is an emo-grunge album that hones Nirvana’s Nevermind but also poses aggression and melody in a way similar to Sunny Day Real Estate’s Diary. Kevin Devine has released two albums in the past year, entitled Bulldozer and Bubblegum respectively, that transcend his usual acoustic power pop as well as his love for loud pop punk.

Kevin Devine and the Godamn Band started the show off, coming out to a cheesy country song that was apparently chosen by their sound guy. They got right into it, playing their spastic form of pop punk that is undoubtedly influenced by early 2000 Brand New and blink-182. Kevin Devine hopped around stage doing his best impression of Peter Cottontail. At one point, Devine started to sing the overplayed Nickelback song “How You Remind Me”, but thankfully retracted from the chorus into one of his own jams. One exciting part of Devine’s set was when he went into his ballad “Cotton Crush” and the road crew quickly set up a second drum set on stage, as a guest drummer came out to join them. While the second drummer didn’t do much to differentiate himself from the other drummer, it was pretty rock and roll. Kevin Devine and the Godamn Band got the crowd moving and prepared them for the night of excitement that was to come.

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Photo by: Ashley Silva

On comes Balance and Composure after about a 20 minute intermission. Behind them hung a large white banner displaying their name in a simple, lower-cased font. By the sound board in the back of the room was an oil-wheel projector that spun tie-dye colored blobs around on their banner. While the background was mesmerizing, it didn’t take away from the epic set that was about to happen. Balance went into their hit single from their debut album “Quake”. As the guitars lulled the crowd into a trance, lead singer Jon Simmons casually wandered over to the microphone, just to announce to the crowd, “Bang your fucking head”, just before the song dropped. The energy in Terminal 5 was electric and the crowd came alive in full force from that point on. Balance mixed in a variation of songs from both of their albums, feeding off the crowds energy. Fans were crowd surfing and opening up push-pits everywhere possible inside the venue, mimicking scenes of past years’ Warped Tours. Balance and Composure, on their largest tour to date, playing alongside a band in Manchester Orchestra that has influenced their music in various ways, showed no nerves, and won the crowd over with their loud, emotional songs.

Now for the main course, the beautifully chaotic, Manchester Orchestra. Opening the stage up to its full capacity and displaying a large banner, simply reading COPE behind them, the men from Atlanta took the city stage, opening up with their single from their second album “Shake it Out”. It was almost like they knew that they crowd would freak out once they heard those opening notes and the tambourine hits because the place literally erupted. Not one person in the venue was not singing along to the words, “Shake it out, shake it out. God I need another round, another round, another round, another I can feel it now.” Manchester went through a set which suprisingly only included four songs from Cope. The set was very heavy in songs from their second album Mean Everything to Nothing. It also included a Bad Books cover which included Kevin Devine joined them on stage to end their set. Of course once they left the stage the fans began the “one more song” chant. To the fans excitement, they came out with a vengeance, with their first single from Cope, “Top Notch”. The crowd seemed to have its own pulse and moved along with every song throughout the encore, until Manchester finally closed the night with “Only One”, where Hull proclaims, “I am the only one who thinks I’m going crazy, and I don’t know what to do”, while the entire crowd seemed to feel his emotion and sing along.

The show was loud, fun, exciting, and inspiring all in one package. Every band knew how to work the crowd and feed off of their energy and emotion. Each band also nearly replicated their sound from their albums, from every note hit, to each bit of guitar feedback. These three groups worked perfectly together and it would be surprising to not see some of them on tour together sometime in the near future.

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