MARYLAND founded Modern Baseball arrived in Gorilla, Manchester’s railway-arch industrial club-come-venue, this Friday night. Quays News entertainment Seren Hughes-Jones went along…
The venue proved a fitting atmosphere for the immensely popular four-piece’s sell out gig – big enough to fit their dedicated fan-base, but intimate enough to reach-out to the hearts of their 20-something fans with their quizzical lyrics about life and love, teamed with relatable self-pity.
Supporting for the last date of their two-part ‘The Perfect Cast EP Release Shows’ were Connecticut’s, Sorority Noise led by Old Gray’s Cameron Boucher. The long haired, shy, and modest emo warm-up band captivated the crowd from the first note.
Playing a mixture of songs from their debut album ‘Forgettable’ and 2015’s ‘Joy, Departed’ with their own unique fresh and relaxing, yet uplifting and often ‘angsty’ feel. Cameron stunned the crowd to silence with his emotional and poignant interlude where he discussed his own depression, the taboo that surrounds mental illness, and dedicated the next song to a friend who took her own life earlier this year.
What is evident from their faultless performance (notable songs include ‘Your Soft Blood’ and ‘Rory Shield’) is that Sorority Noise inject a rare, raw passion into their music, and would have, without a doubt, gained an adoring fan base from these two UK winter shows.
At 9.15pm Modern Baseball stormed on stage to the accompanying patriotic sound of ‘Walk of Life’ by Dire Straits and geared up the crowd by rapidly belting out the nostalgia tinged lyrics of ‘Fine, Great’ from their notable ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’ album (that they also sold on vinyl at the back of the venue).
Thus continued a mass of finger pointing and sweaty oversized shirts for an hour and 15 minute set packed with their catchy choruses and energetic breakdowns that are easy to bounce around to. MOBO seem to say something with their lyrics which a heartbroken college student cannot seem to express, which almost immediately succumbs to at least one reason for their popularity: they are relatable.
So modern baseball and sorority noise were literally amazing pic.twitter.com/Xrqy7uipb4
— loz (@_Ioz__) February 27, 2016
With a set list composed of mostly songs from their Billboard 200, 2014 LP, their set definitely had the feel of sophomoric emotion with a youthful crowd who were more than prepared to sing along with a cathartic tone.
A favourite of the night comes from the quartet’s debut album Sports entitled ‘Tears Over Beers’ which combines a mix of their soft acoustic melodies that quickly shift to fast pace rhythms, combined with Jake Ewald’s somewhat appropriately whiney vocals. Then moving on in the middle of their set to two unnamed songs played back-to-back from their new album Holy Ghost released under Run For Cover Records (out on May 13). Having recently graduated from Drexel University we can expect more mature themes from MOBO as they grow with their audience, and the taster of this year’s hugely anticipated album certainly proved hopeful.
As well as racking up songs from The Perfect Cast E.P the band got the crowd in a huge frenzy upon singing the first line “It’s been day or years of me thinkin’ ‘bout you every day” from their arguably most popular song ‘Your Graduation’.
With its journal-like and sharp, angry lyrics MOBO had the crowd in the palm of their hands, even drummer Sean Huber came to the front stage to plunge into the crowd, mic in hand and attracted them like bees to pollen, in a swarming, emotional mass of snapbacks and flannel shirts. Post-Encore they even managed to throw in a crowd pleasing cover of The Killer’s ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’, before finishing with ‘The Weekend’ from the pop-punk classic Sports.
It goes without saying that Modern Baseball put on a memorable, energetic, and fun-loving set, with mid-song chit-chat encompassing talk of Disney World, scotch eggs and tuning guitars on aeroplanes. They are effortlessly tight in performance, ardent and brutally honest – what more could you ask for? With returning to the UK after cancelling several appearances in 2015, such as Reading and Leeds Festival, look out for them again this April.
Modern Baseball blew me away. What a band. I'm in awe.
— Will (@WillyWhitby) February 26, 2016
By Seren Hughes-Jones