Ceremony Connects And Wows At Studio B Show


I didn’t know what to expect from the show on Monday night. I knew the headliner was going to be great but I knew nothing about the opening act and was surprised when there were two openers instead of just the one advertised. I had no clue if people were going to be there, no clue if I was going to like the openers, no clue if I was going to know anyone there– it was a wild card of a night but thankfully it ended up being an absolutely amazing show. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go into the unknown when it comes to concerts and sometimes, like on Monday, it absolutely pays off.

Unfortunately, I did not catch the name of the local opener. It wasn’t listed anywhere online and even after spending a bit of time trying to figure it out, I just couldn’t. The name was maybe “Nah” or “Na” or something like that but that’s not the point. The point is they took the stage right at 8 PM and, for twelve minutes, absolutely had me floored. Although only on stage for literally twelve minutes, this band ripped the stage to shreds and had the audience going almost instantly. A punk edge with hardcore influence and an almost garage-rock vibe, their set was fast and dirty in all of the right ways. Although they weren’t listed on the line-up anywhere and I was expecting just a two-band act, the addition of this local band was a true treat and if anyone can tell me their actual name, that would be great because I absolutely want the chance to catch them again.

Second to grace the intimate stage at Skyway Theatre’s Studio B room was Spy, a hardcore band from the Bay Area. Much like the show in general, I did not know what to expect from this band but, as soon as they leaped into their set, I knew I loved everything about this band and couldn’t wait to dig into their stuff a bit more. The amount of energy they had on stage floored me and was easily matched by the excited audience. It has been so long since I have seen a pit full of two steppers and multiple stage divers at a show but that’s exactly what happened during Spy’s set and it made my heart oh so happy. Vocalist Peter Pawlak spent half of his stalking the stage almost daring the audience to come at him and the other half laying on the ground of the stage. I can’t tell you why him laying on the stage stuck with me so hard but it did and it led to not only an amazing set but a powerful one. Spy has been around since 2020 and is a super hard-working group of musicians. You got that feeling as they powered through their set. Unfortunately, the set seemed to end abruptly and my friend that I had dragged to the show with me and I just looked at each other a bit defeated as if saying “That was it? But that wasn’t enough!”. It wasn’t enough and I can’t wait for a second chance to catch this band live.

Even though I just caught headlining act Ceremony back in May when they came through with Turnstile, I was not going to miss seeing them on Monday. The way Ceremony connects with their fans is something that will always keep me coming back and their music isn’t that shabby either. In case you missed my last post about them, Ceremony is a post-punk/ post-hardcore band that formed back in 2005. Although I call them post-punk/ post-hardcore, their sound is so much more than that and it would take way too many paragraphs to really get into what genres and styles they incorporate into their signature sound. It’s just one of those bands that you have to hear and see live to really understand so, before I go on further, if Ceremony comes close to you, please go. I promise you won’t regret it.

Although I always love seeing Ceremony live, I have to be honest and admit that I don’t know their catalog well so I can’t tell you what songs they played but I can tell you that their set was perfectly curated with the ebb and flow of emotion and energy that it displayed. There were moments of pure chaos followed by moments of deep meditation and emotion all followed by a stream of stage divers trying their best to avoid the microphone stands and members of the band on the crowded stage. Vocalist Ross Farrar seemed to spend the majority of the time with his head in the audience as he knelt near the edge of the stage and let fans take the microphone throughout the set. That’s the thing with Ceremony. They aren’t a super well-known band (sadly) outside of the scene but their connection with their fans makes them feel larger-than-life in the best ways.

Monday night’s show could have been a complete bust but the mix of amazing bands gracing the stage and a crowd that was excited and ready to get a bit sweaty made for a flawless concert.