After going to see Demi Lovato with a group of friends for fun on Saturday night, it was nice to be lugging my gear back to The Garage to photograph a show. I got there shortly after the scheduled door time to join the sea of plaid and flannel in line to get in and enjoy an evening of emo rock, thankful that this show was moved from the side stage to the main room. With The Garage being one of my personal favorite venues to photograph artists at, I was immediately excited by the challenge of getting back into the crowd to capture the show.
Shortly after doors opened, the first band of the evening, Super Whatevr, walked on stage bringing their brand of alternative emo rock with them. Their set was very laid back even though the subject matter of their songs, including feeling like you are a mess and dealing with the aftermath of suicide, suggested otherwise. The more lyrically complex aspects of their music was hidden well in the constant upbeat tempo of their sound and vocal performances, the band definitely setting the tone for the rest of the evening. The highlight of their set was being able to see how much the band got into their own music on stage, each member dancing along to their sound during their entire set.
Next up for the night was the four piece alternative rock band Gleemer. After the quick set change, the band took the stage and slightly altered the mood of the room with their more eerie and moody sonic outpouring. A stark contrast from the openers, Gleemer filled the room with atmospheric rock that was complemented well by the darker blue and purple lighting. Not necessarily a band that gets the crowd going into mosh pits and high energy movement, this group instead brought an emotive vibe to the crowd that got them swaying gently.
Can’t Swim, the penultimate band of the evening, took the stage next, after another very fast set change. Right after the band walked on stage, it brought me back to when I saw them open for Four Year Strong last spring in Boston and being impressed by them then, and now being able to appreciate their growth. From the start of their set, the band changed the dynamic of the room, sonically playing faster paced and upbeat songs and instantly getting the middle of the crowd moving around. Arguably the most heavy band on the tour bill, Can’t Swim brought hard hitting energy on stage and while the entire crowd didn’t get into it, there was a core section that was giving that energy right back to the band. Playing a collection of songs from their EP “Death Deserves A Name” and their debut full length “Fail You Again,” Can’t Swim solidified their rise in the scene, with their captivating performance and leaving me waiting for a longer set on a headliner.
I’ve been able to catch Movements a couple times before, the most recent being at Amsterdam Bar & Hall when they opened for Knuckle Puck last fall. Even then, I was mesmerized by the band’s ability to intertwine their introspective lyrics with perfectly emotive music. The band come out on stage starting strong, enticing the crowd seemingly quiet crowd to get more into the show. Shortly after, members of the crew and crowd began running on stage to stage dive, and lyrics were being shouted with gusto back at the band. Playing a mix of their old EP “Outgrown Things” and their debut “Feel Something” Movements once again put on a highly memorable set an in intimate setting, one that beat aura the band.