La Dispute/Balance & Composure/All Get Out/Sainthood Reps – Bowery Ballroom – April 29, 2012
The best tours always tend to be the ones when the bands have the most fun with one another, and last night’s Wildlife tour show at The Bowery Ballroom was the perfect example. Headlined by La Dispute, the bill featured a diverse set of rock and pop-punk bands with an excellent communal vibe you normally find in a close-knit group of high school friends. Long Island’s Sainthood Reps led off the night, playing to what was essentially a home crowd. Just like a friend who’s an outcast, the band’s material, from debut album Monoculture, had a lot to say about the state of the society we live in, and they said it in some striking ways. Their songs skewed heavier than the rest of the lineup, but the polished performance was staggering for a newer band.
Think of an older, cigarette-smoking friend you may have known, one who had maybe failed a few times and was probably even married. That was All Get Out. These Southern rockers told the crowd all about life, love and loss through rowdy but heartbreaking songs and lyrics. And although they’re still new to a lot of crowds, the band wasn’t afraid to take some liberties with their songs, stretching them longer in almost unrecognizable ways—and even quieted down one so much that lead singer Nate Hussey sang out over the edge of the stage, clutching his guitar to his chest like he was singing about his children.
Before the initial verse of Balance & Composure’s first song was even finished, crowd-surfers and stage-divers had already taken over. The set featured much of the excellent Separation, for which the crowd went simply wild, like the band was the popular kid of the tour. Finally headliners La Dispute capped off things with a heady, heavy set. Their music was a bit harder to chew, but it gave a totally different satisfaction than the rest of the bands’ sounds, and it didn’t stop the crowd-surfers. Like your friend who spent all his time in the art department, this band just wanted the crowd to look at things a little differently, and we were grateful for it. —Sean O’Kane