w/ Tiny Moving Parts & Rozwell Kid
What better way is there to spend Valentine's Day than in a room full of sweaty, angsty, crowd-surfing dudes?
All jokes aside, I was actually pretty excited about seeing You Blew It! on Saturday. I saw them once before - last summer, they opened for Say Anything at Concord Music Hall (along with another favorite, The Front Bottoms) - and although there was no official review of that show (oops!), it was pretty sick.
Anyway, I have been a fan of You Blew It! for a few years now. A four-man band from Orlando, FL that formed in 2009, they're firmly in the "emo-revival" category, so it should be no surprise when you get a 90s/00s flashback to your high school days during a YBI! show. The band is led by Tanner Jones (vocals, guitar), whose signature style is a satisfying balance of sing+scream. And when paired with the skills of Timothy Flynn (drums), Andy Anaya (guitar), and Trevor O'Hare (guitar), the result is an uninhibited, unapologetic live performance that tempts the front-row-viewers to climb up onstage and surf out into the audience.
This tour is in celebration of YBI's second full-length album, Keep Doing What You're Doing (Topshelf Records, 2014), engineered by Matt Jordan and produced by notable Chicago musician and fellow emo-revivalist/labelmate, Evan Weiss (Into It. Over It, Their/They're/There), who also filled in on bass for the album. Keep Doing What You're Doing definitely highlights the band's evolution since their first album, with tunes that are a bit more structured and melodic, and lyrics that are a bit more personal and meaningful. Tanner even cites the Jimmy Eats World's Futures album as an influence while writing this one, while keeping in mind the end-goal of making a solid rock album.
This show also marked my first time going to Beat Kitchen, which is located in the Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago. This venue is known for hosting good rock shows, while still keeping that small, intimate vibe - it felt like the angst-ier, grunge-ier cousin of Schubas, actually (though slightly larger, I think). It's got a good-sized bar/restaurant seating area in front, and the back room has a small stage with exposed air ducts on the ceiling and a couple rows of lighting rigs. Ignoring the smell, I actually really enjoyed Beat Kitchen and will definitely go back.
I missed Rozwell Kid (apologies), but caught most of Tiny Moving Parts' set - the audience was really into them, and seemed to be full of very dedicated fans! A band from Minnesota, Rozwell Kid was part screamo, part emo, and definitely got the crowd hyped up - and encouraged a lot of crowd surfing, which was kind of funny to see in such a small venue (cue: feet hitting lighting rigs). Check out their song "Always Focused", which has an opening riff reminiscent of Matthew Frank (Their/They're/There).
You Blew It! played a great set - super energetic, loud, and headbang-worthy. The guys played a mix of old and new songs, like "Award of the Year Award", "Hope It's Not A Deposit Bottle", "Regional Dialect", "Terry Vs. Tori", "House Address", and "Better to Best". They did a real throwback with a Fall Out Boy reference to "Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy Tonight" before going into "Medal of Honor". Another rare treat was Tanner singing "The Fifties", just himself and his guitar. So good. You Blew It! also got to play their first (allegedly) encore, which was "I'm Bill Paxton", another great one off of their first album, Grow Up, Dude (2012).
All in all, it was a fun night to get caught up in the emo-revival spirit, and watch everyone stage dive. Apologies for the lack of pictures, but I didn't get a great spot for the night. But I've included some of those from the Say Anything show last summer!
You Blew It! is still on tour (East coast, I'm looking at you!), so catch them if you can! And they have also released a three-song EP called Pioneer of Nothing (Jade Tree) - hopefully a sign of more great music to come! This band is a talented group of a real, down-to-earth guys, who just want to remind you that emo-rock is never going out of style.