Into It. Over It., TWIABP, The Sidekicks & Pinegrove packed Irving Plaza (pics, review)
photos by Amanda Hatfield
The awesomely-billed tour of Into It. Over It., The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, The Sidekicks and Pinegrove rolled into NYC for a sold-out show on Friday (4/22) at Irving Plaza, which IIOI frontman Evan Weiss said from the stage was the largest show they ever played. The 1,000+ capacity venue was PACKED even at the time of Pinegrove's 7 PM opening set, and it stayed that way the whole night.
Pinegrove sounded noticeably tighter than at their Baby's All Right show just two months earlier. The band was super confident, and Evan Stephens Hall already has the kind of soaring voice that can fill a big space like that. They played mostly off this year's fantastic Cardinal (on Run For Cover), which only seems to get better the more you listen to it. The crowd would probably agree -- you could hear a huge chunk of people singing along to set-closer "New Friends," which is not an everyday occurrence for the first band on a four-band bill.
The Sidekicks haven't released anything since last year's Band of Horses/Shins-y Runners in the Nerved World, so their set was pretty similar to recent NYC shows, and sounded tight as always. And if anything, the larger stage and louder sound system (I last saw them at Silent Barn) only made them better.
TWIABP followed The Sidekicks with a set that was as overwhelming and unpredictable as just about every TWIABP show has been lately. It's hard to explain what this band can achieve in a live setting without sounding like I'm overhyping them too much, but if you haven't seen TWIABP since Harmlessness came out, I can't recommend changing that enough. About half their set was from that album, and they also included a couple off their 2013 debut and the songs on their new 7". They've got four guitarists going at once, at least four singers (including Shitty Greg, who doesn't usually play with them anymore, coming out for his part on "Picture of a Tree That Doesn't Look Okay"), and just so many sounds happening. There's a mathy guitar riff here, a bright synth line there. They build up post-rocky walls of sound, and even get a little metal like at the end of set-closer "Katamari Duquette." There's basically no limit to where TWIABP will pull influences from, and they make the argument that these sounds were never too different in the first place.
It's gotta be tough for any band to follow a set like that, but Into It. Over It. had no trouble ending the night with a killer show of their own. Their not-so-secret weapon is current drummer Josh Sparks, who makes the recently-released Standards IIOI's most complex album yet and gives the live shows a very strong backbone. Even some of the older songs that Evan didn't record with Josh sound better with this lineup. Josh of course isn't the only good part of these shows. The whole band is a super tight unit, and Evan -- who's been doing his thing for so long and only getting better -- is a great frontman. Standards is full of the kind of personal lyrics and addictive melodies that people can't wait to sing along to live, and Evan delivers them with as much passion and precision as he does on record.
Unfortunately our photographer missed Pinegrove, but some instagrams of their set and more pictures of the other three bands below…
The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die
Into It. Over It.