Into It. Over It. @ 7th Street EntryJan 25, 2014
Into It. Over It. rocked the Entry on Jan. 23 with special guests The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, A Great Big Pile Of Leaves, and Farewell Continental.
Friday, January 23rd, 2014 was a night of blown eardrums, insane energies, and outpoured emotion. Kicking off their first tour in months, Into It. Over It. headlined an amazing show at the 7th Street Entry with special guests The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, and Farwell Continental. The line of people stretched down the street despite the subzero temperatures, some having to be turned away when the show sold out shortly after doors opened. Inside, the venue was packed full of rabid fans of each band, some of whom had waited years to see their favorite band live and were barely able to contain their excitement as the first act went on stage.
DISCLAIMER: There will be a lot of abbreviation of band names in this review. This is not so that I seem cool (I am most definitely not) but just for the sake of brevity, because a lot of these bands have long names. Which, for the record, I adore, but can seem a little unwieldy when written out multiple times in a row.
Justin Pierre is a man almost instantly recognizable in the Twin Cities music scene. Known primarily for his work with Motion City Soundtrack, the vocalist and guitarist has had several side projects over the years, of which Farewell Continental may be the longest lasting. Taking the pop punk sound of MCS and combining it with dual vocals reminiscient of acts like Los Campesinos!, the group is able to strike a note that is both familiar and entirely new. Justin Pierre had a great rapport with the crowd, joking about the cold temperatures, being a broke musician, and more while keeping things moving smoothly. I may have still been chilled to the bone when they took the stage, but by the time Farewell Continental was finished, I was both charmed and warmed. I moved up from the back of the venue to the first few rows, and watched as the next act took the stage.
A GREAT BIG PILE OF LEAVES
Bringing what would certainly be the most upbeat style of music to the stage, A Great Big Pile of Leaves dove straight into their set with high energy. Almost immediately, the crowd began to move more, warming up both literally and figuratively. I had known almost nothing about AGBPOL going into the show, but I was quickly impressed by the catchiness and overall skill that they displayed onstage. Guitarist Matt Fazzi (formerly of Taking Back Sunday) was especially fantastic, playing some crazy riffs on guitar while adding backup vocals that helped flesh out many of the band's songs. Looking back at the whole night later on, I'm glad that AGPOL was sandwiched in between the other acts, as it helped break up the wall of noise that, while brilliant, could have gotten overwhelming. It wasn't too long before their excellent set was over, however, and they left the stage as the numerous members of one of the night's two most anticipated bands began to set up.
THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE
I will readily admit that these guys were the reason I was at the 7th Street Entry that night. Whenever, If Ever was one of my favorite records of 2013, and it's only grown more and more into one of my standby winter records as time has gone by. I'd heard great things about their live performances, but even that reputation did not do The World Is... justice even a little bit. With seven members on stage (there have been even more at some other shows) including three guitarists, the stage was more crowded than I've ever seen it, but that's exactly what made it so great. Imagine for a second the loudest show you've ever been to, then imagine the moment of that show when the build-up had grown to an almost ungodly level you didn't believe could build itself anymore. Then imagine that said level continued to build for another full minute. That's about the best illlustration I can give for what it's like to see these dudes live on stage. There were times when I actually felt my heart beating through my chest to the insane, yet hopeful desperation that seems to run through everything TWIABP does. There were times when I literally forgot where I was because my eyes were closed and I was completely lost in their sound. And there were times when I'm pretty sure my jaw was on the beer-covered floor in amazement at the way the band's melodies grow and shrink perfectly. Overall, I was astounded, and judging by the crowd, I wasn't the only one. Too quickly, the set was over, and the band left to a huge round of cheering and applause as heartfelt as the music that had proceeded it. If I thought my ears were going to get a break from beautiful noise, however, they were wrong.
INTO IT. OVER IT.
What started out years ago as simply a creative outlet for Evan Weiss has become a musical project defined by its longevity, constant innovation, and pure honest emotion. Projects such as his writing/recording/releasing of a new song every week for a year in 2007, or his city-themed 7" records have shown his commitment to big ideas, and this commitment carries over into his live shows. Playing with three incredibly talented musicians (all of whom were fairly new to the material), Weiss got on stage and never really stopped. Whether it was with deafening guitars or quietly introspective vocals, the songs drew you in and kept your focus for the entire gig, giving you an incredible glimpse at a prolific artist. Although his music can be a bit dark at times, Weiss himself was nothing if not in good spirits, constantly joking and telling everyone that despite what you might think, he was really, really happy to be on stage. The crowd loved him, he loved the crowd, and each song in the set seemed to connect with at least one person in the crowd on an insane level. Much of the material was newer stuff I wasn't familiar with, but all of it kept my attention to be sure. By the time Weiss finally left the stage (thanking the crowd profusely as he did), my ears may have been ringing, but I had a smile on my face and a warmed soul. Some shows are simply good for you, and that night was most definitely one of them. Thanks to everyone who played that night, from the bottom of my heart. I can't wait to see you all again soon.
Written by Trevor Spriggs