Raw emotions, thumping drums clashing with screechy guitars and high treble charisma highlighted Major League’s live gig at the Beat Kitchen. But out of the five bands that played that night, only one shined brightly on the densely lit stage, and it wasn’t the main headliner.
The night began with local hardcore-punk outfit, Arkham blaring out a straight schmuck of thick loud sludge made of heavy drum beats, metallic guitar rhythms and lead singer Adam Bevel’s scratchy vocals. The sound was so thick that it was difficult to distinguish songs, making it hard to kindle any sort of interest in listening. The songs were stale and redundant, with inaudible singing. To Bevel’s credit, some of this had to do with his intensely passionate singing paired with him violently fidgeting across stage, another mark of his love for the music. He was the most charismatic front man, jumping up and down, banging his head, and then jumping off the stage while singing.
Next was Nashville based pop-punk band Better Off. The band was no better off than Arkham, though lead singer Luke Granered’s voice was slightly more bearable.
After watching two mediocre performances, Seaway was a breath of fresh air. This pop-punk group from Canada was clearly fun, highly dynamic, and extremely proficient with its instruments. For the first time, the sound wasn’t thick at all. The band was clearly audible and floored the crowd with songs like “Middle Finger,” “Hour Glass,” and “Too Fast for Love,” all of which contained rich melodic guitar rhythms, groovy bass lines and catchy beats that clearly made Seaway’s performance the best.
Following Seaway, the emo influenced four-piece outfit from Baltimore, Have Mercy started off strong with “Talk About Your Hair.” The song had rich guitar melodies with fierce back beats. But as their performance progressed, they started to splutter. Songs got boring and a general sense of fatigue started to settle in.
By the time the headliner, Major League, took the lackluster performances continued. The band played a mixture of new and old songs, none of which were all that memorable. Though lead singer, Bryan Joyce attempted to sing with more emotion, a clear reflection of the band expanding their musical boundaries, his emo-charged vocals were fuzzy and in-audible most of the time.
It seemed like Major League had shorted live gig out of all the bands that played that night. Possibly because of the excessive banter between Joyce and his guitarist, Matt, who just kept chatting away, sucking out the spontaneity that normally coexists between the artist and his audience. At the end of the band’s performance, Joyce shared a very disturbing story about how a man became obsessed with his mother and how that obsession destroyed his family, ending with the song “Home Wrecker,” which made for a rather unique note, inspiring members of the audience to mosh around as Joyce sung his heart out.