Co-headlining their fall tour, Saves The Day and Bayside, came to the House of Blues in Chicago. With them came I Am The Avalanche and Transit. You can check out our review after the break.
It’s a cold rainy evening in downtown Chicago. As I walked down State Street getting completely soaked, I could not take my mind of what I would encounter over the next four or so hours. Of all the shows and festivals I’ve seen over the years, I don’t think I have ever been more excited for an entire concert bill as I was for the Saves the Day/Bayside co-headlining tour featuring I Am the Avalanche and Transit.
I walked into the House of Blues fifteen minutes after doors opened and quickly realized the show started earlier than advertised when I heard Transit halfway through “You Can’t Miss It” off their new album Listen and Forgive. Transit is a band I have been listening to since before the 2010 release of Keep This To Yourself but had never seen live. After all was said and done, I was more than pleased with my first experience seeing the Boston, Ma quintet. Guitarists Tim Landers and Torre Cioffi were spot on and delivering the perfect mix of classic pop punk and midwestern emo, providing the perfect compliment to Joe Boynton’s soaring vocals. The group mixed a fair amount of old and new material into their set, for a crowd made up of what seemed like mostly new listeners. The energetic and impassioned performance by the band, rounded out by bassist P.J. Jefferson and drummer Daniel Frazier, was the perfect start to the night as they won over many new fans.
Next up was New York’s I Am the Avalanche. Before the curtains even opened all the way, the band barreled into “Brooklyn Dodgers” off the recently released Avalanche United, which started off the set with quite a bang. The band, fresh off a 6 year break in which no new music was released, kept the energy at full blast through the entire 30 minute set. Vocalist Vinnie Caruana’s balance of gritty singing and screaming was well received by the crowd who all found themselves moving in some form, whether they were new fans or die-hards. Throughout the set, the look of appreciation on all five members faces was undeniable after the long break from playing live. It was a memorable set, and one that every fan of the punk genre should make his or her way out to see.
After killer sets by the openers, it was time for the first of the two headliners to take the stage: Saves the Day. With such an extensive back catalog, it is always interesting to see and hear what would make its way into Chris Conley and Co.’s set. Songs off the recently released full length, Daybreak, dominated the performance, highlighting the songwriting talent Conley has been honing over the past 16+ years, even with the constant switching of members. The hour long set also featured a good balance of favorites from previous efforts including “Shoulder to the Wheel,” “Cars and Calories,” and “Anywhere With You.” The rhythm section of Rodrigo Palma on bass and Claudio Rivera on drums was extremely tight and brought each number to life as Conley and lead guitarist Arun Bali seemed to play the songs from muscle memory. The crowd loved every minute of the time spent with the band and let the them know of their exuberance at the start of each song, especially before and after the closer “At Your Funeral”.
Bayside closed out the night of excellent bands with a set that surely I, and the rest of the crowd will not forget. Starting off with just vocalist/guitarist Anthony Raneri singing the first two verses of “Blame It On Bad Luck” before the rest of the band exploded in to finish the opening tune off. The moment the whole band joined in I was mesmerized at the massive sound of the band; every guitar solo and drum fill sounded as if it were the exact take from the recorded version with even more energy added in. Songs included singles “Already Gone,” “Sick, Sick, Sick” as well as deeper cuts like “Alcohol and Altar Boys.” The highlight of the set was most definitely the acoustic “Don’t Call Me Peanut” as the crowd sang along from the opening note with Raneri before he eventually stepped away from the mic to let the audience take over. I have always heard that Bayside is a cult, and know I know exactly why. The emotion packed into every record is doubled in the live setting and a Bayside show is a recipe for a great night, especially when complemented with an equally amazing co-headliner and two opening bands. All I can say after a night like that is you will definitely be regretting missing such an outstanding tour like this!
Information about the review…
Tour: Saves The Day & Bayside Co-Headline Fall US Tour
Bands: Saves the Day, Bayside, I Am The Avalanche, and Transit
Reviewer: Neal Manahan
Date: October 13, 2011
Venue: House of Blues in Chicago, IL