Against Me! at the Upstate Concert Hall: Photos and Recap

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Last night, Step Up Presents brought a packed bill of a punk blend featuring the prolific veterans Against Me! alongside Kayleigh Goldsworthy, the Menzingers and the Icarus Line.

Walking in around 8, we caught the tail end of a serenade from Kayleigh Goldsworthy who performed acoustic to kick the festivities off. Goldsworthy, from Brooklyn, also is involved with the Scarlet Ending, a six-piece out of Syracuse whose single “The Way We Used To Be” was featured on MTV’s “The Hills.”

Next up, was the Menzingers, a punk quartet based out of Philadelphia. The Menzingers started off with “Casey,” a track off of their latest album, On The Impossible Past,” which is their debut release on Epitaph Records. The vocal duties were split between guitarists depending on the song. The vocals were very crisp and clean, which is always appreciated and notable when you haven’t heard a band before and you can follow along with what they are belting. The Menzingers displayed distinctive vocals over a range of calming to fast-paced melodies and the crowd instantly picked up subconscious clues to clap along when the time was right.

The Menzingers’ set showcased growth in their sound, building with the night and it was a balanced arrangement from their catalog. For an opening band, they assumed the proper role of an opening band (something that is as important as it is difficult to achieve) and they engaged the audience in a way that the band that played after them (the Icarus Line) didn’t succeed in at all. For the Menzingers’ time on stage, people inched up close and were really captivated by it; those who could sing along, did.

Click the image above or hit the jump to see the gallery and the full recap.

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Recap: Tragedy at Le Poisson Rouge

Le Poisson Rouge is not a punk club. Not that it avoids heavier music entirely – the West Village venue’s upcoming events calendar features appearances by Rorschach and Converge, among others. But the club hosts a wide range of live performance, from indie shows (another one coming up: the Clean and Times New Viking) to poetry readings to contemporary classical music, and its owners don’t want it trashed and spray-painted into a hardcore dive. So, perhaps, it felt a little odd to see Tragedy last Saturday evening in a concert hall where the bouncers wore white shirts with neckties, or one with a VIP bottle-service section at the back of the room.

But think about it a little more, and it makes perfect sense. Tragedy have done well for themselves by crafting an aura of mystery. The Portland band maintains little to no internet presence while quietly self-releasing their records – four LPs over the past decade, with a smattering of singles to tide fans over. Six years have passed between their latest album Darker Days Ahead and the one before it; a few friends remarked that they had no idea it had even come out until they saw copies on the merch table in the foyer. They garner attention from highbrow metal magazines like Decibel; given their recent interest in the punk middleground, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them covered in Spin. And they also don’t play out very often – every tour announcement stirs up rumors that this one will be their last.

Tragedy appear tonight upstairs at Valentines with Born Low, Neutron Rats, and Maggot Brain. 17 New Scotland Avenue, Albany. 8:00 PM, $10.

Check out the rest of the review beneath the cut!

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Recap: Animals As Leaders, BTBAM at Northern Lights

This past Friday, Step Up Presents brought the 2011 Saints & Sinners tour featuring Between The Buried And Me, Animals As Leaders and Tesseract to Northern Lights for a night of melodic debauchery much to the delight a packed, sweaty venue. The tour’s pit stop in Albany marked the second-to-last show in a 30+ day run, during which Animals As Leaders released their sophomore album, Weightless.


photo by kc orcutt

Tesserect, BTBAM and Animals As Leaders made for a complimentary show billing – although I did just catch the tail end of Tesserect kicking off the evening. Tesserect was followed by Animals As Leaders who stirred up a progressive melting pot of an influx of metal-based instrumentals with BTBAM turning up the heat and consequential aggression as headliners.

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