w/ KittyHawk, The World Is A Beautiful Place, and A Great Big Pile of Leaves
Sometimes it can be difficult to write a full recap of a show. I try to give myself at least a week to get all of the items in order that go along with a post - editing photos, uploading video clips, etc. Unfortunately I do have a day job which has been consuming most, if not all, of my available brain power, but apologies nonetheless for this being so so late!
Into It. Over It is a Chicago-based band, who's key ingredient is Evan Weiss, with help from a smorgasbord of others - someone help me out with their names! Wanna give credit where credit is due. I could go on and on about the connections between Evan and various other punk, emo-revival bands out there (Kevin Devine, The Front Bottoms, Their/They're/There, You Blew It!, Say Anything...). But this guy is just all over the place and always seems to have multiple side projects going on at the same time. Case in point: he just released an LP with Their/They're/There back in December and a month later, went on a 30+ city-US tour with Into It. Over It to promote the latest album, Intersections (released by Triple Crown Records). Not to mention his other producing extracurriculars.
Back story on Evan - he lives in Logan Square. Has been involved in many many bands. Released a "free-download project" in 2007 where he recorded and released a new song every week for a whole year (and appropriately named the album 52 Weeks). He followed that project with one called Twelve Towns, which features story-telling songs about 12 different places he's traveled to. July 2011 brought another album called Proper. And now, there's Intersections (2013). The first time I saw Evan perform (with Their/They're/There), I was actually a bit surprised at his personality - he's got a super-friendly vibe, not intimidating at all, given the strength of guitar in his songs, if that even makes sense. And it's been said that his favorite spot is also Schubas. So there's that.
So unless you've been living under a rock (or only stick to one genre of music), you're probably familiar with this recent concept of "emo/punk-revival" which, I must admit, I've been pulled in to. Cut to: Kevin Devine, The Front Bottoms...pretty much all of those Topshelf Records bands that I've mentioned before. Into It. Over It is definitely one of those emo-revival bands that's going places. If it means anything to you/if you have any idea how epic the Bowery Ballroom is, they got a great review on that performance in NYC. There's a lot more depth to the lyrics and the guitar tracks than your average emo band. Not as hard on the ears to listen to, but not over-produced either. Evan does this thing I like to call "speak-singing", which is different. Technical term? Idk. Makes for an interesting mixture though of melody and story which comes together nicely in a live show. Check out their Audiotree Live show and you'll see what I mean.
The show at Bottom Lounge was the ending show to Into It. Over It's full US headlining tour with openers The World Is A Beautiful Place and A Great Big Pile of Leaves [both Topshelf Records bands..maybe I should become their official promoter! Ha]. Now, let me say, I did not realize that it was an 18+ show...and I wasn't really planning on spending my Saturday night with a bunch of high school punk seniors. Nothing against them..I guess I've been so long removed from that high school mentality that it sort of bugged me, in a weird way. But anyway, it seemed the openers would never finish. KittyHawk also had an opening set - they were OK for a punk band with an unassuming female singer. Props to her. The World Is A Beautiful Place (& I Am No Longer Afraid To Die) was a whole different story (what's with the extra-long, kinda pretentious band name?). Not my cup of tea, to be polite, even though they are from CT. Although the crowd seemed really into them, I just couldn't get into the whole poetry-reciting, 8+ person band, with little to no melodic content at times. Ok, obviously I'm exaggerating. But I just was not that into it. On the other hand, I really liked A Great Big Pile Of Leaves (from Brooklyn, NY) - Peter Weiland, Tucker Yaro, Matthew Fazzi, and Tyler Soucy. Kind of reminded me of another band who has a low-range vocalist as well..can't think of who..not quite The Calling low..if you know who I'm thinking of please comment below, it's gonna bother me the rest of the day. They've got some solid guitar lines going on, captivating beats, and Matt Fazzi has some pretty great hair. Also I made a note to myself during the show - "drummer. Awesome".
So finally Into It. Over It came out to perform and all my previous annoyances with the night went away. They played a lot of songs. My notes seem to think about 16. I'll only list a few - "Anchor". "Staring at the Ceiling". "Augusta, GA". "Upstate Blues". "New North-side Air". "Spinning Thread". "Discretion & Depressing People". "Where Your Nights Often End". "Write It Right". "Midnight: Carroll Street". I think those are right..iphone notes + drinking to seem older than 18 may have caused some confusion. Anyway, they were all so grateful of everyone who came out on this tour and helped them to sell out a lot of venues - always great to see humble bands who truly appreciate the support.
One tiny dislike that I have about this band is that the majority of their songs sound very very similar. I don't really like when that happens, although I understand how difficult it is to write and record 12+ songs that all complement each other well enough to be on the same album, but also aren't totally the same. Maybe it's because his vocal style is more of speaking than singing that makes his songs similar in sound. But I can forgive it in this band (just this once) because the lyrical genius written into every song makes up for it.
The show itself was up and down for me. Like I said, I wasn't too into the crowd, even though I usually can vibe off everyone else and blend in. There were just so many emo teenagers who were being pretty obnoxious and trying to crowd surf the whole night. [Seriously. Even one of the bands had to ask them to stop. Kids needed to calm the fuck down just a little bit.]. But whatever, they were enjoying the show, and it seems like that was pretty standard at all of their shows on this tour. It's so interesting to me to see what kind of an audience certain bands attract, and what age demographic shows up. I would not have expected Into It. Over It to attract such a young crowd. Maybe it was the 18+ thing that Bottom Lounge was doing, but when I was 18, I don't think I had such mature-sounding taste in music (ahem, I believe I was experiencing a rap phase at that point). Maybe city kids are much more in-tune with their musical surroundings and underground emo bands than I could ever be. But I did enjoy the sound guy who recorded the opening bands from the audience with a mannequin head hoisted up on a 10ft stick wearing the mic and a beanie. Also enjoyed A Great Big Pile of Leaves and the drummer. And also enjoyed when Into It. Over It brought out Fazzi to play with them on keys. This definitely was one of my most "punk-rock-emo" shows to date, but I would definitely go see Into It. Over It play again. Or pretty much any other Evan Weiss side project band.
(Emo) Rock on, Chicago!
PS. Congrats to the guys - they're playing at Lollapalooza!! Go see them!
Think: Their/They're/There, You Blew It!, The Front Bottoms, American Football, Owen, Real Friends
"I didn't want to stay here, but you couldn't wait to leave
A whole community of people never sleeping only drinking alone
They soak their twenties into tens, it's like their twenties never end
Upstate blues, they could paint this room
Cold and grey, like the New York in you"