by Zachary Stryffeler
Think of a place where the entire world feels surreal around you. It could be many places: a diner after 1 A.M, a rest stop along a lonesome highway, or even a back corner in your local library. These places feel different to us, as if reality was distorted and what we see as the world around us just wasn’t the same as it was before. Post Malone has created this feeling and captured it in an album. Post has created a modern masterpiece that will always bring us back to when and where we first heard the songs when we listen in the future.
Post Malone released his single “Psycho” on February 23rd, 2018, and it was instantly a hit. Take your mind back to that night. There were people huddled around laptops in dorm rooms, people sitting alone with their headphones, people at friend’s houses just waiting for midnight when this song dropped. I can remember exactly what I felt the second the bass kicked into the song around the 27 second mark. My friends and I were gathered in a dorm room upstairs with another friend who had the best speaker system. I felt the song wash over me, the bass seemed to coat my mind and take everything away. I know that there was nothing else in my mind at the time, and I know my friends felt the same. There was no talking when the song was on, just acknowledgment that this was special. This is a shared experience for our whole generation. The album itself dropping was no different. @swhiting1322 tweets that she felt “peace and serenity” when she first heard beerbongs & bentleys. @thenetts remembers sitting up with his friends and listening to the whole album straight through.
There is no other way to describe this album drop than that Post Malone has created a phenomenon. This was something that will stand the test of time. This is as significant as an Abbey Road or a Led Zeppelin IV. beerbongs & bentleys is an album that we will remember and listen to long into our lifetimes. It will be a staple at barbecues, office parties, weddings, and high school reunions. It will be played not just for the music, but the feelings and memories that it brings with it.
Date of Show: 8/22/18
A Review of The Funeral Portrait’s show at Stamps the Bar in Tonawanda, NY.
By: Chandler Poczciwinski
Above: Lee Jennings (The Funeral Portrait)
Nestled right in the quiet town of Tonawanda, Stamps the Bar was home of the festivities for the evening. The line-up for the evening consisted of: Of Night and Light (Buffalo, NY), Fall of Icarus (Medina, NY), Signs (Of a Slumbering Beast) (Buffalo, NY), Assume Nothing (Mason, MI), and The Funeral Portrait (Atlanta, Ga). This would be a great night as I was familiar with two of the four bands, and had seen both of them live before, and was excited to see them again. I arrived during the beginning of Of Night and Lights set, and after walking in I instantly whipped out my camera and got to work. I had been especially excited to see Of Night and Light that evening, as they are definitely one of the emerging bands coming out of Buffalo right now. I saw them at the WNY Korner Stage during this year’s Vans Warped Tour in Buffalo and they were actually the ones to tell me about this show. I have also seen them around the Buffalo music scene quite a bit for the past few years and I always love to support the home town Buffalo boys. Of Night and Light is a three-person line up however you didn’t hear any emptiness from the lack of a second guitar player because bass player/backing vocalist Cameron Thibault did a very nice job of filling out the sound. To be honest ONAL sounded heavier than I remember from the first time I saw them, but to me that’s a good and not a bad thing. My favorite song of their set would be their second to last song titled Hope, it is slower and softer than their normal material however, it provided some very nice dynamics to their set. Of Night and Light definitely did not disappoint, and I can’t wait to see what is coming for them next.
Above: Of Night and Light
Above: Joseph Kinem (Of Night And Light)
Up second would be Fall of Icarus, and with them they brought a sound that sounds like skate core and metal core had a baby. Their fast and heavy guitar parts, accompanied by their heavy vocals would give the crowd a real treat. In the future, I would love to see them on more strictly hardcore line up because I think they would have a great crowd response from the hardcore community.
Third was the duo, Signs (Of a Slumbering Best). What I really took away from their set was its structure. They took an interesting route that had a lot of transition focusing most on lead singer Chris Oliveras. This was a nice change from the normal “song, break, song, break” that you hear from most bands. Vocally, Oliveras brought the metal core heaviness while adding touches of pop punk. Overall, Signs (Of a Slumbering Beast) brought a mold breaking sound and set to the show that was refreshing.
Above: Chris Oliveras of Signs (Of a Slumbering Beast)
The fourth band to play, Assume Nothing, would definitely be my uncharted discovery for the evening. Even though Assume Nothing was the only other non-local band for the evening besides the headliner, I had never heard of them before. The four-piece metal core band for lovers of Wage War and Gideon played a tight, heavy and energetic set. Now, I am usually a critic of bands whose front man plays guitar and sings due to the fact that I think some stage presence is lost, especially in the metal core genre. However, Assume Nothing and lead singer Riley Roush just did it right, and I didn’t want to look away for a second. I could easily see this band on a major tour on bigger stages and still easily being able to hold their own. I’m super excited that I was able to discover these guys and I will defiantly be keeping my eye out for Assume Nothing.
Above: Assume Nothing
Above: Riley Roush of Assume Nothing
Finally, the main act of the night, The Funeral Portrait. I was lucky enough to see the Funeral Portrait last fall in Rochester, NY when they were on tour with Hotel Books. The first thing you notice when you see The Funeral Portrait live is their stunning stage presence. From bass player Robert Weston holding it down on stage right with his quirky hijinks, to lead singer Lee Jennings making proper use of the stage, hardly staying in one spot for longer than a moment. During their last song of the evening Casanova (C’est La Vie) The Funeral Portrait created one of my favorite summer concert moment by bringing about one third of the crowd onto the stage to finish off their set, which created a genuine home town and fun moment for everyone in the crowd. Lee even went into the crowd to personally bring up a particular fan that looked like he wanted to be on the stage so bad, but was too nervous. Once on stage, the fan began beaming from ear to ear. What the Funeral Portrait really understands is that no matter how big your band gets at the end of the day it is all about the fans. The Funeral Portrait really has it all, great stage presence, great music, and a real down to earth mindset. There are great things coming for this band and I am excited to see what the future holds.
Above: Lee Jennings of The Funeral Portrait
Above: Robert Weston of The Funeral Portrait
Above: The Funeral Portrait
A two-hour drive from Buffalo would bring me to a local Syracuse venue that I have been dying to go to for years. The Spark Contemporary Art Space was home to the night’s killer line-up of Chamber, Varials, Polaris, and the headliner, Gideon. As I walked up to the venue, I could feel the excitement in the air as the crowd headed outside to catch their breath after the Nashville natives, Chamber, opened the night. Unfortunately, I missed Chamber’s set which is very unlike me. I always have to be there to see the opening bands, but the extra-long drive put me at a disadvantage. It was not long after I entered the venue that the next band, Varials, started to sound check and the fans began to pour back into the intimate venue. By the time Varials took to the stage, the floor was properly packed with an empty pit in front of the stage. Once the first note was struck that empty pit went to good use. The hardcore boys from Philadelphia left it all on the stage and were not at all shy to the overwhelmingly positive response from the local Syracuse scene. Lead vocalist, Travis Tabron, made use of the stage as he jumped and climbed on the speakers next to it. Overall, Varials put on a very impressive set that the crowd loved every bit of, and I look forward to seeing them as support on the Counterparts “Private Room” tour.
Above: Travis Tabron of Varials
Up next was Polaris who came all the way from Australia, I have been following this band for a while and was especially excited for their set. Their set was super tight and every bit as energetic as I would expect from them. Lead singer, Jamie Hails, even made use of the floor as he was backed by his band on the raised stage behind him. However, despite the clean and heavy set that Polaris would put on, the crowd was not as into it as I had expected. Now, this was absolutely nowhere near “crickets” by any means, but the crowd definitely seemed a little lackluster. I think this was due to the fact that the other three bands that night had a more hardcore sound, and Polaris is definitely more metal-core than hardcore. In my opinion, Polaris will have a much better response as support on the upcoming Parkway Drive “Reverence Tour”.
Above: Jamie Hails of Polaris
Finally, the headliner on the evening…Gideon. I have seen Gideon before and went in expecting great things (hence the reason I drive the two hours to cover the show). Even more people would pack into the small venue as Gideon took to the stage. Daniel McWhorter experienced mic difficulties during the beginning of their opening song “Freedom” off their latest album Cold. However, as a true professional, he grabs another mic and continues to sing along not skipping a beat. During the few moments of the vocal difficulties you almost couldn’t tell due to the crowd screaming every word. Gideon went on to play a passionate set from start to finish, giving it their all. I think the high point for the crowd (and for me personally) was the second to last song Cursed. Unfortunately, the crowds demand for “one more song” were left unmet as Gideon left the crowd hungry for more.
Above: Daniel McWhorter of Gideon
Overall, I thought this was an amazing show, and I have nothing but positive things to say about all the bands performance. This show had everything I could have wanted and more, and my first experience at the Spark Contemporary Art Space was definitely positive. I can’t wait see some of these bands in the fall and as always, long live hardcore.