“We are a real live band, we don’t sound as good as the record, we run out of breath. We would like you to know that,” lead singer Ben Liebsch told the drastically undersold crowd on Friday night.
This is a band that has gone through a number of lineup changes over the past four years but seems to have settled on a sextet that brings an incredible live show to whomever decides to see them on a given evening. Throughout the performance, band members switched instruments and pulled double duty — showcasing the individual musical ability of the band, but the whole was greater than or equal to the sum of the parts.
idobi spoke with Liebsch for about 15 minutes about the new album, label and shows in general. He revealed the motivation behind signing with a label because “we hit a glass ceiling as a band, we got as big as we could independently, we were aware of that a year and a half ago. We needed to find a label to grow and Doghouse was one of the only labels I have ever had any desire to sign with.”
It was a strange situation at the Crocodile Rock CafÃ©, because the venue has two rooms, one with a 1200 person capacity and the downstairs club that can hold 400 bodies. A marathon show starting at 5pm headlined by Amely was going on in the basement while the “Can We Do Laundry at Your House?” tour brought in its average crowd of 150. This amount would push the capacity at many of the venues on tour except this one, which could hold 8 times that. Speaking with Justin Collier of Man Overboard after the show, idobi uncovered the reasoning behind the venue booking. The management expected You, Me and Everyone We Know to draw 200 with Man Overboard, Take Cover and This Condition drawing 25-50 each although none of those three bands plays the area all that often.
This Condition, an upbeat poppy five-piece New York City band sponsored by Taco Bell took the stage first around 8pm. The delay in start time was due to the marathon of bands that has been playing the smaller stage since 5pm. These five energetic dudes only had the privilege of being on the tour for a handful of dates but made the most of the last day at one of its “favorite venues”. There was a minimal reaction to lead singer Nathan Andrew’s banter, even though he bore strong resemblance to Forrest Griffin of Hellogoodbye. Most of the set consisted of new songs from the Spirit EP, released this past summer. The lively set was quickly overtaken by Take Cover’s full force punk rock attitude and lead singer Ryan Wickard.
Almost out of nowhere (actually Minnesota) this band attacked the crowd with two backup vocalists and a searing rendition of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Sweetness”. With no prompting, Ben Liebsch came on stage to lend his pipes to a pop-punk chorus sing a long. The impressive range and presence of Wickard carried this band through the half hour set, seemingly winning over a crowd that could have cared less if no bands were playing.
Fortunately, it seemed that Man Overboard went on at the ideal time because the crowd size was at a maximum of 150, a very generous estimation. The dual lead vocals of Zac Eisenstein and Nick Bruzzee were a golden example of what pop punk can and should be. Former drummer Collier was stellar on guitar, trading three chord progressions with Eisenstein while Bruzzee had no problem singing and playing the bass, which seems to trip up many a band member. Closing out a powerfully sharp half hour set of mostly Real Talk songs with fan favorite “Love Your Friends, Die Laughing” drove the raucous crowd to fervor. The crowd did seem very into a few Real Talk tracks.
Curfews were obviously in effect as the headliner took to the stage just after 10pm, with a maximum of 50 people barely singing along to tracks from the first two EPs as well as Some Things Don’t Wash Out, which came out on Tuesday. The band selected the most entertaining songs from its debut album to perform live, including “A Little Bit More”, “Bootstraps”, “A Bigger Point of Pride” and title track which opened the set. Every band member was very animated in their performance, filling the open space with enough energy to make up for the 1000 people who were not there. A highlight of the set was Take Cover’s Wickard came out to perform Max Bemis’ verse on “I Can Get Back Up Now”, returning the favor for Liebsch’s previous guest vocal effort.
“If you don’t support each other you are just going to fuck each other” Liebsch told idobi about being on tour. We here at idobi radio suggest that all of you support these bands and check out the “Can We Do Laundry At Your House?” Tour.