Bayside is one of the hardest-working bands in the scene, and their gig at the House of Blues Sunset Strip on Friday night hammered that point home.
Front man Anthony Raneri and the Queens, NY-based four-piece slammed through a lengthy set of new songs, old songs, and fan favorites for about an hour and a half. More on their set later.
Opening the show was the Ohio-based pop/punk outfit Mixtapes. Touring in support of their 2013 album Ordinary Silence, the group delivered a high-energy set, which was particularly notable considering guitarist/vocalist Maura Weaver was battling a cold.
Next up on the night was Daylight. The band’s 2013 album Jar was an exceptionally impressive album of down-tuned, 1990s-fueled angst (produced by Will Yip), and their set was comprised of songs from the record. Though it was apparent many in the crowd weren’t familiar with Daylight’s music, the band turned in a great performance.
The guitar tone the band utilizes in the live setting is just surreal – heavy, distorted guitars reverberate through your head the entire time. Musically, they sound very strong as well – they’re the type of band that plays with a lot of intensity. Don’t sleep on them the next time they come around to your area.
Massachusetts-based pop/punk heroes Four Year Strong served as direct support for Bayside, though they’re between albums at the moment. As is usually the custom at FYS shows, they had a VERY lively crowd, with some individuals opting to crowd-surf their way to the front, shouting and screaming along with co-vocalists Dan O’Connor and Alan Day.
Set-list wise, FYS mostly stuck to 2007’s Rise or Die Trying and 2010’s Enemy of the World, only choosing to play one song (“Stuck in the Middle”) from 2011’s In Some Way, Shape or Form. It was another typically energetic set from FYS, still one of the most-beloved bands in the current pop/punk scene.
After the dust settled from the raucous set FYS turned in, Bayside took the stage and launched into “Big Cheese”, the opener from their new album, Cult. The set was peppered with a few songs from Cult, notably “Pigsty” and “Stuttering”, but the strongest audience reactions came from older cuts like “We’ll Be O.K.”, “Don’t Call Me Peanut”, “The Ghost of St. Valentine”, and “Dear Tragedy”, among others.
As a front man, Raneri – who also mans lead guitar duties – has a perfect grasp on how to entertain an audience. His singing voice and lyrics, which have always been one of Bayside’s strongest elements, sound as crisp and on-point live as they do in the studio, which is a rarity these days.
Musically, the band is among the tightest around, having established a strong rapport as a collective group of musicians over the years. That efficient sound gives them the ability to excel as live outfit, which they certainly did to the delight of their adoring crowd ready to sing along to each and every song.
Cult was released earlier this month – if you haven’t yet picked up a copy, head to Bayside’s site and order it directly from them.
To recap: Friday night’s show at HOB Sunset was one for the ages – it’s always a nice treat when all of the acts on a bill, from the opener to the headliner, put on an impressive show.