The Metro Theatre, 04/01/17
Photos by Belinda Dipalo
When I go to check out an all ages gig, I often leave dreading the future of the human race. Mac DeMarco, I’m looking at you.* But Philly foursome Modern Baseball have a combination of pop-punk hooks that teenagers always seem to love and heartfelt, interesting lyrics. The appreciation for deeper lyrical themes makes for a much higher caliber of underage punter than when I was as a young pop-punk fan going to see Blink-182 and frothing over dick jokes.
After a stellar year, it was no surprise that Camp Cope received an inspiring reception from the Metro crowd. Their debut self-titled album has rightfully made end of year lists here (our fav punk album of 2016) and overseas, and has slathered the Melbourne trio in a glorious amount of hype.
I don’t remember ever seeing a house this full and so excited to see a support act at the Metro Theatre. Camp Cope could have headlined the venue. The crowd sang along to every word and tracks like ‘Jet Fuel Can’t Melt Steel Beams’ saw some of the younger and less inhibited audience members dive into their friend’s arms to sing at the top of their voices into each other’s mouths, as if they’ve been waiting 10 years to hear their favourite song live.
The enthusiasm wasn’t lost on Camp Cope and you could see the surprise and euphoria on Georgia Maq’s face when she realised that the room was full of people screaming her lyrics.
Rather than a big dramatic entrance, Modern Baseball seemed to appear on stage; unassuming like a group of guys you went to high school with. The set began with the soft start of ‘Holy Ghost’, the title track from their latest album, before punching into ‘Wedding Singer’, with its shiny guitar lick kicking off the moshpit like a starter’s pistol.
Security had their work cut out for them, catching-and-releasing crowd surfers like Rex Hunt on steroids, especially through crowd favourites like ‘Tears Over Beers’ and ‘The Weekend’, which showed the crowd was more than happy to hear a selection from their 2012 debut album Sports.
At this point, I’d like to make a public service announcement to young testosterone laden music fans. Please, let’s leave ‘the shooey’ in 2016. Not every band comprised of skinny, sweaty white guys with guitars needs to drink out of your filthy fucking Dunlop Volley. They don’t want to, 90% of the audience doesn’t want them to and they don’t need to impress you, that’s what the great music is for. You’re embarrassing yourself and your country. End Rant.
Despite not wanting to drink out of a stranger’s shoe, Modern Baseball have a playful presence on stage that creates a great atmosphere in the room. When it’s Brendan’s turn to sing, Jake and Ian seem to have an ongoing game to see who can make the other person screw up.
I admire Modern Baseball for their frank approach to the encore. They played the set they wanted to play, finishing with ‘Just Another Face’ and walking off very briefly before coming back on to play ‘Your Graduation’, which gave the crowd one last chance to mosh their little hearts out. It was a short and sweet encore that left the night exactly where it needed to be.
We had the cameras rolling for the gig, and will be releasing a live album and video download of the show at the end of the month – watch this space!
*For the record, I love Mac Demarco, but goddamn, his younger fans are the most inconsiderate concert goers on the face of the earth.