Senses Fail with Such Gold, Real Friends, and Major League
Red 7 in Austin, TX on April 14th, 2013
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Senses Fail have been dominating the scene for the last decade and are stronger than ever today. Record after record, the band just gets keeps topping their previous work. So, when it was announced that they were headlining with a group of younger bands – Such Gold, Real Friends, and Major League – I knew it was going to be a good show.
Major League started off the night bright and early. Their older cuts – “Subject To Change” and “Need I Remind You” – sounded a lot better live than their respective recorded versions, demonstrating the growth of the band in just a couple short years. Hard Feelings songs came across nicely in the live setting as well, as the lyrics of songs like “Home Wrecker” and “Walk Away” are ones kids love to yell at shows. Similarly, Real Friends brought along their brand of pop-punk next. Now, I’ve heard a lot about this band lately, but I had never listened to them until seeing their show. I now understand why they have been building hype so quickly – smart, relatable pop-punk done right. These are two bands that I can easily see following the likes of The Story So Far as this year progresses.
The heavy hitters in Such Gold were up next. First off, this deserves a mention – frontman Ben Kotin looked happier than anyone singer I’ve ever seen when he was on stage. There’s just something about him having a huge smile on his face all set that makes you know these guys love what they’re doing, and it really shows in their live show. Sounding even more passionate live than on their album and EPs, the band literally tore through their set. “Sycamore” had everyone yelling along, while “Storyteller” and “Two Year Plan” had Kotin screaming his lungs out as drummer Devan Bentley attacked the kit. As a band that has really perfected their own brand of melodic hardcore – or whatever-core you want to call it – it’s crazy to think how young these guys are into their career. The future is looking very bright for this band.
Over a decade in now and Senses Fail still deliver one hell of a live show. Here’s a band that really helped anchor our scene back in 04, and they’re still dominating today. Talk about seasoned professionals. And man can Buddy Nielsen scream his lungs out. If you can scream a song in Spanish (“Mi Amor”) and not miss a note, while still getting the crowd going while, I think you’re doing something exactly right. All the classics, from “Shark Attack” to “Lady in a Blue Dress” and the final “187,” sound even better ten years later, as Nielsen’s vocal abilities are stronger ever.
New songs from Renacner performed live prove why that record is the strongest Senses Fail album to date, with “Canine” and “Closure/Rebirth” carrying over very well in the live environment. Actually, one of the biggest highlights from the night was “Between The Mountains And The Sea,” as the band slowed it down until the devastating buildup of “There is a devil in the cold dark streets / He leaves us silent and suffering.” The song alone attests to Senses Fail’s growth as a band, as this is something they wouldn’t even have attempted a decade ago.
There’s a reason why Senses Fail have come so far over the years, and both their live show and latest record prove exactly why – they strive for growth and tightening of their sound. It comes across on their records just fine, but seeing the band perform live is what really cements this sentiment.
A great night of old favorites and new talent, this is a tour I highly recommend catching if it comes near you.