photos by Nikki
review by Rachael
video by Rico
On Thursday THE GARAGE rocked and rolled with an AEG Live Presents show featuring Touche Amore, Tigers Jaw, and Dads!
An exceptionally mullet-clad crowd waited in front of an empty stage featuring a baby blue banner with the album artwork of Touche Amore’s Is Survived By. Others browsed the merch tables trying to decide which vinyl they needed oh-so-badly. The majority of the attendees arrived before any of the bands graced the stage, either to see all three perfectly chosen bands, or to ensure their ticket to a potentially sell-out show.
Being the youngest and least well-known band of the night, this is the perfect tour package to propel Dads into a broader fanbase. Dads opened the night with a chugging guitar solo (Scott Scharinger), met by a violent beating of the floor tom by drummer/vocalist John Bradley. This two-piece (three with touring bassist Ryan Azada) showcases drums in a way unparalleled by any artists around today. With his kit placed front and center, Bradley makes himself both the focal and audible point of the show. His sweaty shirt sticking to his torso, with the trendy undercut hair and conscious point of only donning one shoe, it is difficult to divert your attention from this powerful drummer. Bradley is constantly moving from sitting and squatting, to standing and jumping–it’s like watching Catholics move at mass.
In a typical pop-punk manner, Tigers Jaw’s set began with a surging crowd and attempted mic-grabs that continued throughout the set. The two-piece filled out their touring band with bassist Luke Schwartz, guitarist Jake Woodruff, and drummer Elliot Babin (of Touche Amore). For the first half of their set, Tigers Jaw seemed blissfully unaware of the banging and screaming mob in front of them. They treated the first fifteen minutes as more of a jam session than a set, bobbing, making each other laugh, and candidly enjoying themselves. Infectiously poppy songs spilled from the stage as keyboardist and singer Brianna Collins snapped them all back to reality and broke the fourth wall by addressing the audience for the first time. She thanked everyone for coming out and admitted to taking full advantage of THE GARAGE’s backstage sports court for a dodgeball tournament. Tigers Jaw ended their set with a few songs off of their 2014 release, Charmer, and even had a blue haired tambourine cameo.
The empty stage glowed blue as a haunting intro track played and the crowd went eerily quiet. The five members of Touche Amore slowly ascended to the stage, and as the intro track faded, utter chaos ensued. The California-based post-hardcore band exploded into a set of their rapid, deafening, and powerfully personal songs. The congregation surged, shouted, sang, and gazed upwards at singer Jeremy Bolm–it seemed like there was never a breath taken during Touche’s hour long set. If Bolm wasn’t thrusting himself into the crowd, the audience was popping over the barricade like emotional fish out of water, and Brianna Collins of Tigers Jaw even joined Touche Amore on stage for guest vocals. Every member looked exhausted and ecstatic, from Jeremy Bolm’s exaggerated neck veins to nearly naked drummer Elliot Babin’s sprinkler-esque sweat. As the five men left the stage, an encore chant rubbled, but died out once unfulfilled.
It would have taken a miracle for anyone in THE GARAGE to have woken up with a voice the next day. Luckily for the bands, their tour has since ended. Unluckily, this means the three groups will be parting ways as they all move on to play separate tours and festivals. This tour wasn’t only perfect because of the similar musical stylings, but because you could tell that all of the members and roadies truly enjoy each other’s company. As Tigers Jaw’s Ben Walsh said, “We are all winners!” (Granted he said that about a dodgeball tournament which Touche Amore had actually won.)
(Taken from Elliot Babin’s Tumblr)