First things first; an important lesson I learned at Hard Luck is that if you want to be at the foot of the stage, bring some knee pads. Unless, of course, bruised knees are your post-concert aesthetic. The Low Tides Tour had three great bands perform, so let’s look at each of them in order of performance, starting with…
For fans of: Citizen, Turnover, La Dispute
Movements is a four-piece band from Southern California, who is putting a unique edge to the modern day Post-Hardcore/Emo music genre. The aggressively honest lyrics from front man Patrick Miranda are beautifully supported by drummer Spencer York, bassist Austin Cressey, and guitarist Ira George. The minute Ira stepped onto the stage, you could feel the anticipation vibrate throughout the room. Miranda introduced the band with a mellow “Hi, we’re Movements,” before jumping into the first song off the six-song set list, which included the songs Nineteen, Vacant Home, and Protection. As the song hit the chorus, there was an instant shift in atmosphere from anticipation to pure, crazed excitement. The crowd surfers and moshers emerged from their hiding places, and the show had officially begun. Movements was a perfect opener to segue into the next performing band, Have Mercy, although both were a bit of a strange choice to group with This Wild Life. Regardless, the band had this sense of crowd involvement and unity that I hadn’t felt at any other show, and it was absolutely incredible.
Personal favourite song played: Worst Wishes
For fans of: Real Friends, Knuckle Puck, Citizen
Have Mercy is another four-piece, hailing from Baltimore, Maryland. The band consists of Brian Swindle (lead vocalist, guitar), Nick Woolford (bass guitar, backing vocals), Andrew Johnson (guitar, backing vocals), and Todd Wallace (drums, percussion). They have a great stage presence, and this was perfectly shown through Swindle’s small conversations with the crowd peppered throughout the set. His small comedic comments managed to get the entire crowd to laugh along with the band, such as his shout out to Ontario locals Seaway, his brief story of his band’s small ban from Canada a couple years back, and the commentary on Canadian thanksgiving. There was a lively atmosphere through the entire set, which could be clearly shown through their 11 song set list, consisting of songs from their newest full length album ‘A Place of Our Own’, and a few songs, including Hell, off of their debut album ‘The Earth Pushed Back’. It only made sense for the band to open their set with the first song off of their latest album, ‘To Convey‘, and it was an immediate reaction from the crowd. A few other songs that they performed were Pawn Takes Rook, The Place You Love, and Let’s Talk about Your Hair. Prior to the band’s performance, it was announced that crowd surfing was no longer allowed, which brought the vibe quite down. The band, of course, used this as an opportunity to make a comedic apology about the situation, even though that “totally wasn’t cause of us, guys,” which managed to bring the atmosphere from disappointed right back up to stoked.
For those already a fan of Have Mercy, I have some exciting news to bring back! Keep your eyes peeled this April, as it was revealed a new album being released that month next year, which will be called ‘Make the Best of It‘.
Personal favourite song played: Two Years
And now, the band you’ve all been waiting for, let’s get right into the performance from…
For fans of: SayWeCanFly, Loveovernite, NeverShoutNever
What more can I say other than This Wild Life has yet again exceeded my expectations. The acoustic duo from Long Beach, California may seem out of place in the alternative music scene, but they have managed to make themselves right at home in the genre. Kevin Jordan’s soulful voice mixed with the emotional lyrics differentiates the band from mainstream pop music, and Anthony Del Grosso provides a beautiful harmonization with Jordan. They began their set with a song off their new album, ‘Low Tides‘, called Pull Me Out, and let me tell you, despite its small size, the Hard Luck can put on a damn good lights show. The room was basically pitch black aside from the strobe lights placed at the back of the stage, which helped to the illuminate through the light fog that had begun to hang over everyone’s heads. The ambient vibe of the colourful lights that illuminated the stage really set the mood for what the rest of the concert would be; emotional, soft, soulful, and beautiful. The gentle swaying of the crowd with the soft sing alongs that ensued were such a contrast to the moshing and screaming that occurred just minutes before, and frankly, I liked it. Of course, when you transition from a more aggressive pop punk band to a soft acoustic set, it can be awkward, but this tour seemed to pull it off perfectly. The excitement for the headlining band buzzed through the mass of people and by the time they got on stage, you completely forgot about the harsh contrast from the other bands. Only one thing mattered; This Wild Life was going on stage. They had a nice set list of 13 songs, performing a few off of their latest album, but some from their older albums ‘Clouded’ and ‘Heart Flip’. Some songs performed were Over It, Ripped Away, History, and Brick Wall. The set was littered with meaningful chats with the crowd from Jordan, like the one where he talked his life growing up before he performed, Pink Tie. The duo had specifically requested dead silence as they performed Just Yesterday, and you could feel the air get tense as everyone held their breaths. The song has a melodic yet haunting tune to it, and if you weren’t holding your breath throughout the performance, then it would’ve been sucked out of you. Their new album brings a new sound to the band’s front lines, and it’s most evident in that one performance (in my personal opinion). I had the pleasure of seeing This Wild Life perform when ‘Clouded’ had been released, and you can really tell just how much the band has grown from their last show to this one, not just musically, but also as people. I think that growth really helped them put up an improved stage presence, which made this concert unlike any other TWL concert I’ve attended. Jordan and Del Grosso had the entire crowd enthralled into the essence of the show the entire night, and it was truly one beautiful experience.
Personal favourite song played: Ripped Away