Motion City Soundtrack, Set Your Goals, This Providence, The Swellers
February 10th, 2010
Better than: sitting at home worrying about the snow's possible effect on traffic Thursday and Friday morning.
Sure, lead vocalist/guitarist Justin Pierre might look like a whiz kid spawn of Dr. Emmett Brown, but he's an engaging frontman. And he acted like he was having fun with his four bandmates, rather than look puzzled as to why all these people in the room were singing along to his songs.
Matter of fact, he had no problem stepping away from the mic and letting the crowd sing back to the band throughout the night.
There was rarely a slow moment during MCS's hour-long set. Songs from the band's latest, My Dinosaur Life, weaved effortlessly into a set filled with songs from the band's other three albums. Songs like "My Favorite Accident," "Everything Is Alright," and "This Is For Real" generated the strongest reactions from the crowd--but the crowd also enjoyed the tastes of the new material as well.
As the band went through its 18-song set, one couldn't help but think of this music as very Weezer-esque. Yes, these are geeky love songs, but thankfully, Weezer isn't the only reference point with the band's sound. If anything, this band has something special with a blend of bands like The Get Up Kids, Ultimate Fakebook, and The Stereo. MCS is a band that doesn't hide from its nerds-who-rock nature, and its set proved such.
Meanwhile, opening act Set Your Goals may be from California, but its sound is more akin to the mid- to late-'90s hardcore sound of New York. Its friendly version of NYHC got the crowd jumping and singing along.
This Providence was well-received, too, even though its fey, glammy pop rock felt a bit out of place.
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Another opener, the Swellers had a sound that, at times, recalled The Ataris. The venue was half-full as the band raced through its bubblegum pop-punk. Luckily, the crowd dug what they heard.
Personal bias: As sacrilegious as it may sound to friends of mine who saw post-hardcore/emo bands play at the original Door and Rubber Gloves in the late '90s, I prefer MCS over Ultimate Fakebook.
Random note: MCS came out to Was Not Was's "Walk the Dinosaur" playing on the P.A. I had to wonder how many people in the audience were born after that song came out.
By the way: I didn't hear "books" or "boobs" shouted at the band between songs. Read Darryl's interview with MCS bassist Matt Taylor to understand.