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Inside look at April concerts

By Matt Gantos
On April 6, 2014

Pop punk's not dead. Even with hip-hop and electronic music currently dominating the popular scene in the northeast, pop punk is alive and well.
Over the next month, your Daily Campus pop punk enthusiast will be bringing you stories about the awesome shows happening in the tri-state area.
On Saturday, April 4, Bayside and Four Year Strong played at the Palladium in Worcester, Mass. The show was the last night of the "Great American Cult Tour," named for Bayside's cult following.
However, last night it was almost as if Four Year Strong stole the show. The band calls Worcester its hometown. The number of FYS shirts heavily outweighed the number of Bayside shirts. This might be because Bayside fans actually understand and obey the unspoken rule of not wearing the bands' merch to their shows.
"It feels so good to be back in our hometown tonight for the last night of the tour," Alan Day, of Four Year Strong, said as they took the stage. Bayside, on the other hand, thanked the crowd for allowing them to "claim the stage" as their own for the first time ever.
To be honest, I had never listened to Bayside before the show, but was impressed with their live performance. Pop punk shows are all about energy, because most of the time it's incredibly difficult to hear most of what is going on.
After the performance, I compared some of their studio recordings to what I heard live, and what a difference. Lead guitar and vocal harmonies are so much more pronounced on a recording compared to live sound, which is a shame.
Sometimes hearing the term pop punk makes people think of Metro Station and their song "Shake It" from a few years back, but FYS is representing the other side of the genre.
FYS bursts with testosterone. It creates some sort of mass hypnosis to the crowd to just move, jump and push each other.
The most dangerous time to be in a pit is at the very beginning and end of the set. At the very beginning, everyone still has their energy and starts pushing. Even if you're not in the middle of the actual mosh pit, there is no standing still.
Then there are the people who like to flail their arms and legs like they're fighting ghosts. Stay away from those people or you will get hurt. They generally aren't looking at what they're doing and just follow the energy of the music.
Both Bayside and FYS had one thing going for them that made the show more than just a wall of noise blasting at an audience at dangerous decibels, and that was that the crowd knew all of the words.
It's a huge help to the performance when the crowd can sing back to the band, because it implies that the crowd knows what the songs are supposed to sound like, so as long as the general idea comes out, it'll all be fine.
That's the problem with opening bands at a pop punk show, you generally aren't very familiar with the songs so sometimes it sounds like a bunch of noise. That was the case with American Verse and Daylight.
On the other hand, some bands, like Mixtapes, just have the ability to make good sounds regardless and spew out energy of a big-time band.
So this has been the first installment of Pop Punk's Not Dead! On April 11 Taking Back Sunday and The Used head to the Webster Theater in Hartford. Too bad it's sold out already. But you'll have an inside man.

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