We’re onto the second part of this illustrious series of shows – this time with a LATE one. Diet Cig, SPORTS and Ratboys played at Bowery Ballroom on Friday night with a late, late music starting time of 10:45pm. My friends and I later learned the showtime was moved back due to The National throwing their release party there prior. The “shout out to The National for opening up for us” jokes make a whole lot more sense now. Full disclosure, I went to this show because the place I work at ran a radio campaign for Diet Cig, so going with co-workers for free sounded like a fun time. And for the most part, it was!
First up was Chicago band Ratboys, a group I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about from my friends that float around that Topshelf Records / Run For Cover Records circle. They play a kind of indie rock with touches of emo and country… maybe a little twee? Either way, I liked their music and could tell they had a lot of great songwriting ideas in store for the future. Definitely a big sound and the band looked like they were having fun up there entertaining a potentially sleepy crowd.
Next were SPORTS, which were clearly a heavy favorite for the night. People in the audience were going crazy even before they started playing, just setting up & tuning their instruments elicited wild shrieks from the audience. They played a faster breed of power pop with an energy that isn’t quite naive, rather one that relishes in youth. I ain’t even 25 yet and I felt like an old man at this show. Granted, it was probably around 11:30pm at this point and I guess compared to the average audience age, I was a bit high on that spectrum. Their type of power pop/pop punk has never been my cup of tea, except for the first Swearin’ album, of course, but SPORTS definitely touched on things I like from that release. The lead vocals were great, it’s clear the singer has an amazing voice. Lots of really good energy. I hope they continue to succeed!
Lastly there was the main event, Diet Cig, coming on at a bit after midnight. It was my first time seeing them after hearing years of hype around their live show. The hype was definitely real – they put on an electric show. Again, their type of cutesy power pop isn’t totally my thing, but like SPORTS, they had a super devoted group of people there that were going absolutely nuts: knocking each other around, screaming the lyrics, shooting their fists up in the air, the works. I’ve gone to plenty of shows where fans are just milling about, enjoying the music; but these fans were embodying it and letting their real selves go. I think it was the high-kicks that helped it out. It seemed like they were playing for over an hour, so a few minutes after 1am I slid outta there, getting home at around 2am.
Morale check: I’m glad this show was on a Friday, since getting up for a workday and then going to a concert later that night would have been a will-crusher. This show was a big hurdle to clear for the rest of the week, which thankfully is mostly populated with fairly standard shows and set times. I’m a bit deflated today (Saturday), but I’m definitely still going to the show tonight, which is with Weekend and Ice Choir at a metal bar named Saint Vitus. It’s a bit far away, but this is Weekend’s “only show of the year,” so I thought it would be cool to experience that. Make sure to read up on that show tomorrow!
Thanks for reading!