[CONCERT REVIEW] Manchester Orchestra, Balance and Composure and Kevin Devine + The Goddamn Band – 05/27/14

Manchester Orchestra took Silver Spring, MD by storm this past Tuesday, literally. But the rain and lightning couldn’t keep anyone away from the spectacle that took place at the Fillmore in Silver Spring. Bringing along fewer acts than normal, but equally as powerful, Manchester Orchestra brought along Pennsylvania natives, Balance and Composure along with Indie rocker Kevin Devine and members of his ‘Goddamn Band.’ Finishing up their month long tour that started down in Tampa, FL this was one of the tours last stops ending on the 31st in Nashville, TN.

While many will admit to dreading the opening acts at shows, few could admit that Kevin Devine’s eager attitude and upbeat rhythms didn’t cause them to move around and jam along with the band. Taking apart in numerous projects over the years and being a good friend alongside Andy Hull, the band that a minor amount had ever encountered were very pleasurable to watch set the stage for the other acts. I’m sure Kevin Devine’s music made it onto the iPhones of people everywhere that next morning.

It’s nothing unusual for the crowd to get a bit antsy when a band as influential as Balance and Composure took the stage next. But, aside from Jon Simmons impeccable voice and the unity the groups brings to a room, their performance was lacking. No, not musically, but with their choice of songs the enthusiasm in the crowd was not as strong as anyone who has ever attended a Balance and Composure show would have seen in the past. The setlist, which consisted of more than 3/4 songs from the new record ‘The Things We Think We’re Missing’ seemed to bore many. Although songs like ‘Enemy’ and ‘When I Come Undone’ are fantastic songs, they just don’t satisfy as much as the songs you can aggressively finger-point to on the record ‘Separation’.  Long term fans of the band know that majority of the ‘Separation-era’ is over but still crave those songs that made them fall in love with the band. But any fan of Balance and Composure would never complain to being able to see them perform for god-knows-how-many-times. The softer side of Balance and Composure might take some time to get used to, but as always, a solid performance.

Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for had arrived. Manchester Orchestra kicked off their sixteen song setlist with much fervor. They began with the hit ‘Shake It Out’ and carried the audience through various songs from their latest album, “Cope”, to deep cuts from previous records to their last song ‘The Only One’ . No one was discontent with the length of the set, and Manchester Orchestra delivered all that the fans expected them to. The Atlanta band who recently released their album ‘Cope’ were set out to give the audience a sense of meaning, and of course to show them a damn good time. Whether if  it was a die-hard fan from the beginning in 2004 or someone who just happened to recently stumble across the band on their Pandora shuffle, no one in the crowd was standing still. With a concrete sound and lyrics for every song, the band are sure to bring back twice the size of the crowd the next time they come around.

If you so devastatingly missed this round of Manchester Orchestra, make it a point to put attending one of their shows on your bucket list. You will not be disappointed.

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