Motion City Soundtrack Celebrate ‘Commit This to Memory’ In New York City
When I first saw synth-punk luminaries Motion City Soundtrack, it was back in 2004 on the very small Volcom Stage on New York City's Randall's Island for the annual Vans Warped Tour. They were bursting with energy and what I remember most was the keyboard player doing a legit handstand on his keys while he was playing -- of course, that memory is alongside frontman Justin Pierre's crazy hair. They sold me immediately and I was hooked. I picked up their breakthrough album, 'I Am the Movie,' as soon as I could and I've been listening to them ever since.
Last night, while on tour in celebration of the 10 year anniversary of their celebrated record, 'Commit This to Memory,' MCS made a stop at New York's Irving Plaza to play the album in its entirety, as well as a bunch of other tracks -- the setlist for the grueling 21-song, double-encore show can be seen below.
The gig was originally billed for Jan. 27, but with the blizzard in full effect in the city this week, the band made a last-minute call to move it to last night (Jan. 28). It didn't seem to affect attendance, as the appeared to be nearly sold out.
As with most anniversary tours, an up-and-coming fellow synth-punk band, Team Spirit, opened the show. Their set was better and better throughout the night, culminating at the end with everyone's attention focused intently on the stage. Next in line were the Movielife and I Am the Avalanche frontman Vinnie Caruana, performing some solo material as well as songs from both of his bands. (I've seen Vinnie perform acoustically many times, but for some reason, he didn't seem that into it last night. He played a handful of great songs, however, so it wasn't a bust by any means.)
After Vinnie's set, Motion City Soundtrack played some new songs from their upcoming album over the PA system; this sounded pretty rad and obviously got the crowd amped. Then came the moment that everyone was waiting for: The band entered stage left and went right into 'Commit This to Memory''s first -- and one of its best -- tracks, 'Attractive Today. A bunch of fans stormed the center of the crowd to attempt to form a mosh pit, to little success. It just didn't seem like a moshing-type audience -- the fans were more into jumping up and down and singing along.
The keyboardist, Jesse Johnson, still had a ton of energy, and the drummer Claudio Rivera's hair is even crazier than Pierre's now. The frontman also gave a little background on some of the songs before they played them; for example, the song 'LG FUAD' (which stands for 'Let's Get F--ked Up and Die') was simply written about that exact phrase. Apparently a salesman yelled it as he was jumping up on the band's merch table after a show they played with the All-American Rejects over 10 years ago. Pierre also talked about getting sober right before the record had been written, which gave some great insight to where some of his lyrics and song direction came from.
The first, eight-song encore was stacked with tunes from the band's entire career, including some of their newer material. The band came back for a second encore and closed things out with their biggest hit from 'I Am the Movie,' the track 'My Favorite Accident.' If you have never heard it before, check it out below:
All in all, it was great to see 'CTTM,' a classic album by the band, played from front to back, and it was great to see these guys still onstage and kicking. It was an anniversary show that I couldn't miss. Motion City Soundtrack are a staple to the pop-punk community and with a new album coming out this year, it doesn't seem like they have any plans on slowing down.
Motion City Soundtrack -- Setlist, Jan. 28, 2015
'Everything Is Alright'
'When "You're" Around'
'Feel Like Rain'
'Make Out Kids'
'Time Turned Fragile'
'Better Open The Door'
'Together We'll Ring In The New Year'
'Hold Me Down'
'A Lifeless Ordinary (Need A Little Help)'
'Anything At All'
'This Is For Real'
'Her Words Destroyed My Planet'
'The Future Freaks Me Out'
'My Favorite Accident'