Sometimes, I find it better to go into a show knowing just enough about a band to understand their sound but not do a deep dive. That way, you can be pleasantly surprised by the live show that is presented to you. Last Friday was one of those nights at Masquerade Atlanta.
What originally drew me to this show was Can’t Swim. I was drawn to them because they are from the town that I had grown up in in New Jersey. They had a great sound. Something familiar and reminded me of roaming the old VFW and Knights of Columbus Hall shows of my hometown.
They are signed to Pure Noise Records and their first release with them was an EP entitled Death Deserves a Name. They are currently touring in support of their first LP, Fail You Again, which was released in March of this year. They made a slight lineup change during the process of creating the LP, having their drummer Danny move to third guitar and backing vocals and recruiting Andrea Morgan to play drums. They’re sound was tight and full, with each guitar having its own tone and character that complimented the others.
Boston Manor was the surprise of the night for me. Hearing their studio work, or their top songs on Spotify as I did, I found them to be really good pop punk. But seeing them live, I can say that they come off with the energy and ferocity of a hardcore act, and I mean that in a very good way. Their live sound is very reminiscent of “This Time Next Year”-era The MovieLife, with the stage presence to back it up. They are currently also signed to Pure Noise Records, and their most recent release is 2016’s Be Nothing. They hail all the way from Blackpool,England. In the days following the show, Be Nothing has been in constant rotation on my playlist.
Onto the headliner, Have Mercy. Hailing from Baltimore, they are currently touring in support of their new LP Make The Best of It via Hopeless Records. The crowd was packed in tight by this point. They came alive every time a member came across the stage to take care of their soundcheck duties. Their singer, Brian Swindle, informed the crowd that he was battling a cold, hence the bottle of wine on stage in the place of beer. After their instruments were dialed in, they gathered in the middle of the stage for a pre-set pow wow, and then the show began.
Their sound falls more on the side of indie/emo on the pop punk spectrum. But the energy that was expelled on stage kept the crowd hanging on every line, every lyric. I could not tell the severity of the cold that Brian was battling simply because it did not show through in his voice. Their set was tight and quite memorable.
Written by Peter Sigmund. Check out Peter’s photos from the show: