If you know me at all, you know I won’t hesitate to spend money on a) food, b) concerts, or c) day trips; especially ones that involve food and concert. So of course I took a train to New York so I could see a handful of my favorite bands at Run for Cover’s Something In The Way Fest.
After trekking nearly two miles in 15 degree weather, watching a friend nearly get hit by a speeding taxi, and being interrogated by security in line about a suspicious-looking water bottle, my group finally made it into Webster Hall. We had decided ahead of time to bounce between the Grand Ballroom, Marlin Room, and Studio so we could see as many of the thirteen bands as possible.
With this in mind, my friends and I made our way upstairs to see Teen Suicide. I was surprised by how quiet and sweet their set was; when I saw them with Elvis Depressedly in Philly, their show involved a lot more yelling and moshing. Sam Ray has a talent for versatility, pulling off both performances from every end of the alt-rock spectrum. Halfway through, we headed to Marlin to see part of Petal’s performance. I’d never listened to their music before and fell in love with the voice of Kiley Lotz. Though it’s rare to find a band signed to Run for Cover with a lead female vocalist, it’s always refreshing.
My friends and I had declared Citizen was one of our Priority Bands, AKA no matter what, we had to make it to their set. Being only five feet tall is both the best and worst thing at shows; it’s usually a con because I constantly take elbows to the face in mosh pits, but on the other hand, I can stealthily sneak to the front of the crowd without obscuring anyone’s view. I was almost at the barrier by the time the band got on stage, and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of their live music.
The emotion behind every lyric was just as strong as every time I’d listen to Citizen’s Spotify tracks on shuffle-yes, shuffle; who has money for premium when shows cost so much, amiright? The band mostly played songs off their Youth album, the vocals standing out above all else. Mat Kerekes’ voice being the soundtrack of my first two years of high school, I was honestly awestruck hearing it live and seeing Mat Kerekes in the flesh. My friend talked me into losing my crowd-surfing virginity during The Night I Drove Alone and I’ve never been so grateful for peer pressure.
We decided to get into Marlin as soon as possible so we could get good spots for Our Top Priority Band, the one band none of us had seen live before but were dying to, Turnover. My friend Kayla, a pro at navigating bigger venues, led me through the crowd during MeWithoutYou, a band I hadn’t really listened to before but I got La Dispute vibes from. Once a wave of fans made their way to the exit, we managed to get great spots. Turnover was my personal favorite live performance of the night- their songs sounded practically identical to their studio.
Austin Getz’s voice was just as sweet and sentimental as I expected while he sang every somber lyric. We listened to most of the Peripheral Vision album, which remains one of my favorite indie rock albums because of its melancholic and dreamy sound. We had a ton of fun, even while dodging stage divers (a feat I passed up when I saw Kayla’s swollen thumb from hitting the ground). Turnover’s set was quite possibly my favorite of the night.
My friends and I made it to the center of Grand Ballroom for the final set of the night, Modern Baseball. We had seen them in Allentown, PA in November during their tour with Brand New and The Front Bottoms, and I was excited to finally have floor spots for one of their shows.
Their performance was a perfect mix of their older songs off Sports and You’re Gonna Miss It All, along with the top tracks of Holy Ghost. I was beyond psyched to listen to a Mobo set that lasted longer than fifteen minutes, since the one they played on Brand New’s tour was so short. I enjoyed the pit a little too much. There’s something about being thrown around and decked by a bunch of men twice your size that can’t be explained with anything other than exhilarating.
I left Webster hall soaked with sweat-drenched clothes, busted-up knees, a phone charge of 10%, and not a single regret. It was easily the most fun I've had at a show I’ve been to this year- I’m looking forward to Run for Cover’s next big festival more than anything.
What we're listening to.