Words & Photos by Jordyn Beschel
To be truthful, I hadn’t been so excited to see every band on a tour line-up in a very long time. Moose Blood’s US headlining tour is stacked with names that have been igniting the pop-punk and emo music scene lately. The tour has been a wild success thus far, with multiple shows selling out across the States, including this show at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. It was my first time at Bowery, and I was greeted by a line of ecstatic fans wrapping around the building. Once the doors were open and the venue started to pack up against the stage, I overheard many conversations along the lines of, “This show is gonna be so worth freezing my ass off.”
Hometown heroes in A Will Away kicked off the night with their dreamy alternative rock sound. The band played some of their most popular songs, such as their latest single “Here Again” and fan favorite “My Sitter” from their previous EP Bliss. It is expected that bands with a strong following much like Moose Blood would have fans over-saturating the crowd, with little knowledge of the opening act. However, while weaving in and out of the crowd, I noticed an astonishing amount of fans going hard and singing along to every song A Will Away played. Perhaps it was because they were not too far away from home on this stop, or perhaps the success of their infectious new full-length Here Again lured first-time listeners into becoming dedicated fans. I was especially pleased to hear my personal favorite “Ten or Eleven”, and “Gravity” off of the newest album.
A Will Away
UK hard-hitters in Boston Manor followed up and carried on the momentum of the night. I was especially looking forward to catching them on this tour after seeing them the last time they were in the US with Like Pacific, Broadside, and Rarity. Boston Manor is easily one of the most energetic and genuine bands live. From the second they struck the stage, crowdsurfers launched towards their target and the entire crowd was bouncing along to frontman Henry Cox’s conducting hand. The members of Boston Manor are certainly no strangers to crowd engagement either. By the third song in, Cox stage dived into the sea of fans that helped him carry out the rest of the song. The entire venue was off their feet by the time they played “Laika” (off of their latest album Be Nothing.), leaving the crowd invigorated and in anticipation for the final bands.
The only band on the bill that I had little prior knowledge of was Trophy Eyes, but after their set I knew that I’d been missing out. I have heard their name a lot from friends and social media, but I couldn’t name a single song by them before that show (and I definitely felt like the outcast). Singer John Floreani welcomed fans to join them on the stage, and no one took that lightly. Fans flooded the air, and at one point even someone’s dad took pleasure in surfing the sound waves. What I enjoyed the most about Trophy Eyes was their experimentation with different musical elements, such as in the ending of “Counting Sheep” from their album Chemical Miracle. As if the crowd wasn’t already alive and prepared for Moose Blood to take the stage, Trophy Eyes certainly kicked the whole venue into gear before handing them over to the headliners.
By the time Moose Blood went on, the energy level was at an all time high. The second the band entered the stage and the lights turned their signature Blush pink, everyone had their hands in the air and mouths wide open singing along. Within the first two songs, crowdsurfer after crowdsurfer were tossing themselves onto the stage, so much so that the band’s tour crew had to step in and keep them off of the equipment. This didn’t seem to bother the members at all, though, as they kept smiling through every song. When “Bukowski” broke in, the fans screamed the first line so loud that frontman Eddy stepped away from the mic and let the fans take over. This powerful trade-off continued throughout their set, especially for songs like “Cherry”, “Gum”, and “Knuckles”. The band played a great mixture of fan favorites from their debut full-length I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time to Time and hits from their latest release Blush. The first time I had seen Moose Blood was when they performed to a crowd perhaps 1/3 of the size at the Hartford, CT date of the Vans Warped Tour in 2015. I had known maybe one song by them at the time, so seeing them play to a sold out ballroom in NYC was extremely satisfying.