Show Review: Every Time I Die

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Photo by John Kritzman

Last night, New Haven’s newest venue College Street Music Hall hosted the Common Vision tour headlined by Every Time I Die with direct support from pop punk up and comers Real Friends. This is undoubtedly the first of it’s kind for the venue by way of the style of music and demographic of the crowd. I wasn’t sure how it would work, but the venue lent itself surprisingly well to the crowd and their staff didn’t overcompensate with the brash physicality as we are so used to seeing from similar venues in the area at shows like these.

College Street Music Hall recently opened its doors in May of this year and boasts a 2,000 person capacity, several bar areas, as well as balcony seating. It is an impressive space to say the least, and it compliments the spirit of the New Haven live music and bar scene perfectly. If you haven’t been, it’s your classic re furbished theater with tall ornate ceilings, various viewing levels so there’s never a bad view of the stage, and dim but somehow inviting lighting. What differentiates it from its contemporaries (think Lupos in Providence or The Palladium in Worchester) is that you get the feeling of it’s grandiose antiquity without all of the grime, maybe just because they are new, but they also made it feel modern around the bars, entrance, etc.

Besides all of the bands and a lot of the crowd commenting on the venue, the other buzz topic all night was how mixed the genres were on this tour, and for some of us, how old we felt amongst the fans of some of the openers. Every Time I Die is well known for mixed bill tours (think their tour with GWAR that came through Toad’s, or essentially every time they are on Warped Tour) so for those few seeking genre purity, this was by and far not what you’d expect. Keith Buckley, the vocalist of ETID, commented on what everyone was undoubtedly thinking, saying that they knew the tour lineup was varied and crossed a lot of genres, but he added that “that’s what is cool about hardcore kids,” noting that despite there being such a mixed bill, hardcore kids are notoriously accepting and that’s what makes a tour like this one work. Some brave few even raised their hands when Buckley asked if anyone had never heard of them before and just came to see Real Friends but stuck around to see what the buzz was about.

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Photo by John Kritzman

The night had a good mixture of serious music, with none of the bands taking themselves too seriously. It wasn’t until Counterparts, a melodic hardcore band from Canada, played that the crowd began to get into participating, but even before they started their set, the long and skinny pit area opened up and the crowd was unanimously hooked. Vocalist Brendan Murphy had some deep words to share, but also was able to laugh at himself when he fell offstage during a sing along part. Real Friends held their own despite being labeled the odd duck on the tour, and though some of the older element in the crowd flocked to the bar, they kept things moving and kept it lighthearted and interesting before Every Time I Die took the stage.

The thing that is so awe inspiring about seeing Every Time I Die live, whether it is for the first time or in my case seeing them regularly for over 10 years, is that they are very clearly having fun. During their set Keith made it a point to high five every person who crowd surfed to the barrier, and the rest of the band was never in one place very long, specifically Jordan Buckley, who climbed his cabs multiple times and spent a solid amount of his time jumping around and getting close to the crowd, who couldn’t get enough of the band’s antics.

The other perfect thing about seeing Every Time I Die live is that they mix up all of their records, and even when touring on a new record, they play a few songs from each release reaching all the way back to 2001’s “Last Night in Town.” On this tour, they even included a cover of Nirvana’s “Tourette’s” which was a welcome surprise.

This tour offered up a little something for everyone, and Keith Buckley was right when he said the crowd was accepting, because the whole night seemed to mesh perfectly despite the vastly different ages and tastes that came together to join in on watching this bill. Whether you like pop punk, hardcore, metalcore, or whatever lurks in between, you got what you paid for, and speaking for myself, I left the venue feeling a sense of hope and even pride about the state of shows in New Haven and its apparent bright future with College Street Music Hall at the wheel.

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More pictures from the show



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