review: Tigers Jaw played their self-titled LP for its 10th anniversary (and more) at Market Hotel
Market Hotel in Bushwick was packed on Tuesday night (10/16) for the Tigers Jaw self-titled 10 year anniversary show. Market Hotel’s DIY feel, with the backdrop of the J/M/Z trains behind the stage, felt like the perfect way to celebrate a monumental breakthrough album. The young faces in the crowd spoke to the ever-growing influence of the record in the internet age.
Tigers Jaw was a landmark release in the early days of the emo revival. Great punk riffs and sing-along choruses can be found on almost every track on Tigers Jaw, and it contains some of the revival’s best acoustic jams, “Plane vs. Tank vs. Submarine” and “Never Saw It Coming.” The record gained a cult following and Tigers Jaw became a household name in the scene.
In 2013, Tigers Jaw announced that a majority of the founding members were leaving the band, and the future was unclear. Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins are all that remains of the lineup that recorded their self-titled classic. Nevertheless, they persisted, and released spin in 2017 (the followup to 2014's Charmer, which was recorded with the classic lineup but released after the members split).
Walsh, Collins and their current touring members opened the Market Hotel show with a 30-minute set of career-spanning songs, including newer material and deep cuts. They opened with fan favorite “Hum,” one of their most popular songs since the release of Tigers Jaw. They then mixed in a good deal of spin, along with a couple tracks from Charmer and 2010’s Two Worlds. Near the end of this first set, Collins took some time to shout out openers The Sidekicks and play “Jimmy Piersall”, a cut from their 2010 split together. “June” closed out this set, and then the band took a five minute break and put on some music from their favorite TV show (Twin Peaks).
When the band retook the stage for the Tigers Jaw performance, the crowd lost their minds to the incredible opening run of “The Sun,” “Plane vs. Tank vs. Submarine” and “I Saw Water.” Market Hotel felt like it was about to collapse.
There was a lot of trepidation from fans going into this tour. Were some old members coming back? How could Tigers Jaw perform these songs without the lineup that recorded them? The answer is that they do it every night anyway, they just needed to relearn a few old favorites. Hearing songs like “Meals on Wheels” and “Between Your Band And The Other Band” was a stark reminder this entire album was written to be performed at shows like this. That’s the kind of band Tiger Jaw was at that time.
They were also kids. Younger when they wrote this album than most of the crowd was at the show. These were songs about young, dumb relationships, friends and enemies in other bands, and whatever the hell “Heat” is about. It was incredible to hear these songs again, but how many of them still carry the same weight to the band members?
At least one. Collins closed the show by taking the reins on “Never Saw It Coming.” Her rendition is powerful, better than the album version. The song is the highlight of every Tigers Jaw show, but that night it felt like it meant just a little more to everyone in the crowd, and especially to everyone on stage.
As for openers The Sidekicks, the Ohio indie punk band played an energetic set that sounded phenomenal. A mix of old and new, they played a few tracks from Happiness Hours, their most recent release that also happens to be one of my favorite rock records of 2018. Don’t sleep on it.