Modern Baseball: Riverside, Newcastle – live review
14th February 2016
A raucous valentines with the future kings of Pop Punk, Modern Baseball are truly on fire tonight.
Whilst many restaurants heave with lovers celebrating a fake commercial holiday created by Hallmark, there’s a small corner of Newcastle fit to bursting and as we arrive Thin Lips are about to take the stage. They’ve come armed with a selection of the heaviest riffs they could find tonight, intersperse that with apologies about the current US president and they make for a brilliant opening gambit.
Thin Lips also combine their hefty riffs with heartfelt words and heat the crowd up with their infectious excitement, and with minimal break the party atmosphere is sustained as Modern Baseball make an earlier than anticipated appearance. As they open with a raucous rendition of Wedding Singer, which instantly invokes an early crowd sing-along. They have an insatiable energy about them tonight, its visible from the start whilst they also appear to be having as much fun as this packed crowd.
Their highly charged riffs and anthemic tracks inspire frenzied bouts of crowd surfing as the crowd turns into this over-excited melee of bodies all jostling for the best view of the band. Addressing the obvious absence of guitarist Brendan Lukens, there is an audible outpouring of love for him, but it is understood that it is for the right reasons and the band sought to honour their comrade in the latter part of the set.
Before that though Jake takes to the stage alone for a heartfelt rendition of Coals, during which every word is sung back to him at triple the volume. For a relatively low key track this arguably has the most power of the evening, the collective voice is incredible. Continuing this theme, the band then invite two members of the crowd up to sing The Weekend. It incites yet another huge sing-along moment, whilst said crowd members enjoy taking multiple selfies on stage.
The band are then joined by various members of The Superweaks and Thin Lips for more raucous renditions of tracks like Rock Bottom and Your Graduation. Before they close out this evenings set with an exceptional version of When You Were Young by The Killers. Tonight serves as a definite re-affirming that pop-punk is well and truly alive and Modern Baseball are well on their way to becoming huge stars. Their humble manner and true excitement are what shine through this evening over and above their incredible riffs and brilliant lyrics. They truly have the whole package.
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