I enter the now smokeless Mac’s Bar to the site of hardcore hipsters who came to see Lemuria play, who just recently signed to these hipsters’ favorite hardcore label, Bridge 9. The first band to hit the stage for this early all ages show was The Guest Stars, who surprised many incoming show-goers with their pop punk sound in the vein of Say Anything and early Green Day. They blended their own style of pop punk nicely, all the while giving people the reason to ask “Who are these guys? This is an opening band that doesn’t suck.” To be honest, I was chanting “Young Dan Tucker” in hopes of that band to play instead of The Guest Stars, but they were the best substitute for Young Dan Tucker.
The next band to hit the stage was Homelife, whose first couple songs I missed due to the fact I was hungry and went to El Oasis to get a burrito. They play a style of post hardcore/pop punk/emo similar to that of bands like Small Brown Bike, minus the dual vocals. From a band that I have seen plenty of times, they have definitely improved their live shows and the fact that they just came back from a short east coast tour probably benefited their sound on this night.
The next band was Fisherking, which on this evening was their EP release show that is being released on Bermuda Mohawk Productions, who came with a vengeance this night, which showed, with the crowd singing along to their songs and moshing to their hardcore punk songs similar to that of Comeback Kid and with a lot of early hardcore punk influences. They were very tight, especially on their song “Bringing Me Down,” where the 3-piece stops on a dime at moments within the song and start up thrashing again and then stopping with a drum breakdown after each time the band stops.
A sight to see during their live set is to watch Ben Jenson, as he is in a trance, possessed by his guitar. As their set was over, they played a surprise song which was a cover of the Bad Brains song “Big Takeover,” which really did ‘takeover’ the crowd as the last song of their set.
After the fast paced hardcore punk set, it was time to settle down to the mid tempo pop punk/powerpop of the Cheap Girls. The Cheap Girls played all of their hits and overall had a great as usual set, for the many times I have seen them, they did not disappoint. They defintely found me a drink home to Ft. Lauderdale, after we found weed in the parking lot and took the long way back home to have another.
To finish off the evening of this show was the only band on the bill that I have not seen live before, Lemuria
. With the female fronted vocals, Lemuria’s Sheena Ozzella sings in a soothing way that could make anyone’s day better. The only bad thing about their set was that it took a long time to sound check, or at least it felt like forever. The dual vocals of Sheena and the drummer, Alex Kerns, put everyone into their own soft calmed state as they sang along, and watched the band play.
A lot of songs that I had previously heard were not played because the former bass player had vocal parts in the songs, so those songs were not played, which kind of disappointed me; but they are set to record a new album with their new bass player and with the dual vocals of Sheena and Alex. Also, be on the lookout for their split with the Cheap Girls on No Idea Records
soon. The worst part of the show: the humid Michigan summer weather, if it wasn’t for the hot sticky weather inside Mac’s Bar it would have been a perfect show.