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LIVE AT THE GARAGE | Review & Photos: Strangers Only Tour

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Photos by Nikki

Review by Rachael

I feel genuinely sorry for those not in attendance at the stop of the Strangers Only Tour this past weekend at THE GARAGE. This show was another set of locals mingling in on a tour package for only $12. The tour (including Night Verses, I Am King, and headliners My Ticket Home) is to promote My Ticket Home’s new album Strangers Only. The album will be available through Rise Records on September 3rd. The show’s attendance was not as large as had been anticipated, which can most likely be attributed to the fact that it was held on a Sunday. Although the crowd wasn’t colossal, it held the highest number of Star Wars shirts that I have ever seen in a single building, which must count for something.

THE GARAGE’s main stage, which typically swallows up smaller bands in terms of number and movement, appeared miniscule when taken on by Minnesota’s own Alistair Hennessey. Between six flailing bodies, amps, and an extensive light setup, it seemed impossible for the band to make it through a song without a collision of some sort. Although this progressive band may come off as utterly aggressive when engrossed in a song, their in between banter allowed a look into what friendly, dedicated musicians they truly are. Being the second band of the night, the crowd was still thin, albeit dedicated. All present were against the barricade, carrying the opening to “Modern Day Saints”, without the help of frontman Jesse Lynch who had dropped his mic during the intro. Checking out an Alistair show is highly recommended, just don’t take the stage barefoot after their set. Six people leave behind an extensive amount of spit and sweat.

Yet another six-piece to grace the stage this Sunday was I Am King. This touring band from Pennsylvania features vocalist Sam Sky, with a voice comparable only to Johnny Craig. As they continued their set, the crowd grew and condensed closer to the stage. Towards the middle, I Am King awoke a previously stoic crowd, giving birth to the first hardcore dancers of the night. They tied off the set and prepared for one final breakdown. The five bodies (excluding drummer, Tito Rivera) synchronized gracefully and assertively as if by some sort of happy accident. As I Am King struck the stage, house soundman Steffan played Emarosa over the system, making the undeniable resemblance between Sky and Craig apparent to those who hadn’t quite caught it yet. If you weren’t there and missed them, or if you were and liked what you heard, check out their debut album One Hundred, out on Rise Records October 15th.

Headlining act My Ticket Home gave their respect to THE GARAGE before bursting into a set of self-proclaimed “puke rock” songs, including songs not yet released from Strangers Only.  They gave off a garage band vibe without any of the bull–no image, no gimmick, just four guys making music. Behind them stood their amps adorned with crudely drawn doodles not unlike what you’d expect to see in a teenage boy’s algebra notebook. Adding focus on vocalist Nick Giumenti, I couldn’t help but think of fictitious band Crash and the Boys (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)–the nonchalance armoring their commitment, the sunken in eyes of the frontmen, the unexpected power of the songs. To validate the intensity of My Ticket Home, all you’d have to do is turn away from the stage and observe the crowd; you’d immediately face a sea of harmonized windmills, spin kicks, and outstretched arms.

Even if you were not at this show, these are three bands everyone should keep an eye out for. The tour continues for the next two weeks if you’re not in the Minnesota area. Although Alistair Hennessey won’t be along with the tour package, you can catch them playing a number of venues in Minnesota, or on one of their DIY tours around the country. I Am King heads out again just before the release of One Hundred to join the Scream It Like You Mean It 2013 supporting Story of the Year. Along with the release of Strangers Only coming up, My Ticket Home can be found on the All Hype All Night tour with Capture the Crown beginning later this month.

If you’re lucky enough to get the chance to see any of these bands, jump on it.

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