December 21, 2014

That Was The Show That Was: Modern Baseball with Somos, Foxing, Knuckle Puck, Crying | Paradise | 14 Dec.

That Was The Show That Was: Modern Baseball, Somos, Foxing, Knuckle Puck, Crying | Paradise Rock Club | 14 Dec., photo by Dillon Riley

[PHOTO: Dillon Riley] No shade to Topshelf Records -- which we continue to rep daily, and which recently announced it was moving its base if operations to San Diego -- but one thing we're thankful for this holiday season is that Run For Cover remains situated within our city limits. 2014 was a big year for the powerhouse indie rock label, and we emitted a few pages of digital ink to prove it. We were particularly jazzed to take in sets from RFC affiliates Modern Baseball and Crying a week ago on a five(!)-band bill at the Paradise. Regrettably, circumstances were such that we missed Crying's likely thrilling set, but there are still plenty of high highs to recount from the evening.

It speaks to the infectious strength of their songcraft that a band as young as Philadelphia's Modern Baseball could headline a North American tour with four acts of their choosing supporting them each night. You're Gonna Miss It All, which was released in February, was that strong of record, though. Sunday's headlining set struck a chord with the under- and overground by pairing Modern Baseball's outrĂ© genre stylings with entirely relatable lyricism evoking the kind of purely millennial social jargon its fans use themselves. Joined on stage by Cameron Boucher of Sorority Noise supplying auxiliary guitar and vocals, the tunes off You're Gonna Miss It All assumed a crunchier, more powerful guise. The added dramatic instrumental effect played smartly against the band’s jovial stage presence and well-practiced in-jokes. For its one-song encore the band unsheathed a furious cover of The Killers' radio hit "When You Were Young," a rendering that subtly shifted from half-serious irony to full-throated homage by its finish. Kinda sorta exactly like the plights of the characters that populate Modern Baseball's songs.

Too few local publications have noted Boston emo quartet Somos' exemplary rock sounds, but that lack of notice doesn't seem to have diminished the act's allure with its young fan base. Playing selections from its Tiny Engines debut LP Temple Of Plenty as part of last Sunday's show, the act connected firmly with the all-ages crowd. Clearly grateful to be back on home turf for the tail end of a lengthy tour, the band executed swift, dynamic shifts in songs like "Lives of Others." A clear highlight, "Familiar Theme," spurred the crowd to shout back to the stage nearly every one of fronter Michael Fiorentino's words. Temple Of Plenty was released in March and is already in its second pressing.

St. Louis post-hardcore troupe Foxing batted third and drew just as warm a response. During its set a first crop of crowdsurfers popped up, incited by fronter Conor Murphy's exaggerated, cathartic mannerisms. From what we gathered, Foxing as a live entity doesn't deal explicitly in traditional song structure so much as rise and fall with heaving, powerful bursts of noise and emotion. To add additional dimension, Mr. Murphy occasionally steps back only slightly from the mic to deliver trumpet blasts that do a remarkable job of mimicking his shattering vocal style. Shouty Chicago pop-punk quintet Knuckle Puck played fourth. -- Dillon Riley

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