Manchester Orchestra and The Front Bottoms Co-Headline Tour
Main Street Armory-Rochester, NY
Words and Photography By: Chandler Poczciwinski
It is hard to not be excited when two of the best indie bands decide to co-headline a tour together. When the two bands are Manchester Orchestra (Atlanta, GA) and The Front Bottoms (Woodcliff Lake, NJ), you know you are in store for a very special treat. Alone, both of these bands could book a headlining tour that would experience great success. However, by coming together MO and TFB created an unforgettable night for the excited Rochester crowd.
To start of the evening, singer-songwriter Shannen Moser treated the crowd with her small acoustic trio. Playing songs off her recently released album I’ll Sing (September 7, 2018), Shannen Moser was a great start to the evening. Even though the small group only took up a fraction of the huge stage, their sound would fill up the venue like the calm before the storm.
As expected, Manchester Orchestra brought a storm that only they can bring. However, this storm is not like most, constantly hitting the shoreline with ruthless wind and waves. This is a dynamic storm, at one moment it hits you hard, directly in the chest, causing the unavoidable effect of head banging and air drumming. Yet, the next moment is met with an immense calm, a beautiful calm, like you would experience while watching the sunset on the mountainside. While this metaphor might seem unnecessary, however, after you see Manchester Orchestra live, you will understand. This show was not my first experience with Manchester Orchestra, I first saw them this summer at the Alternative Buffalo 107.7 Kerfuffle at Canalside Buffalo. I’m not going to lie, when MO first took the stage for their set I was occupied with trying to find a spot to escape the summer heat.
However, I can specifically remember when they went into the bridge of their song “Shake It Out” off their 2009 album Mean Everything To Nothing. This beautiful noise caused me to leave my comfy shaded spot to join the crowd once again, and not take my eyes off MO for the rest of their set. That day, Manchester Orchestra proved to me not only their unbelievable sound but also their ability to take a crowd through a whole emotional journey during a 30 minute set. Their set in this chilly Rochester night, would again take the crowd on a journey (except this time for a little over an hour). Overall, Manchester Orchestra’s vast collection of songs and ability to create a set that has as many ups and downs as a rollercoaster, creates a live experience that you will want to watch from beginning to end.
Next to take the stage was The Front Bottoms, and let me tell you they really brought their A-game for this tour. This was my first experience seeing The Front Bottoms live, however I did listen to their entire discography while on a 13 hour drive to Wisconsin, so you could definitely say that I was excited to finally catch them live. Along with a huge band that had not one, but two drummers, there was a full bar on stage, complete with bottles and a beer tap. However, this bar didn’t stay vacant, throughout the set multiple stage/tech crew members would hop on stage and take a seat at the bar as TFB sang one of their many catchy hit songs. Even the Shannen Moser trio, took a seat on stage to enjoy what must be, a live music experience like no other. The crowd ate up every second of the set, singing along to the lyrics word for word like they wrote them themselves. The Front Bottoms have one of those infectious sounds that both long time fans with first time listeners can really enjoy. Between, Manchester Orchestra’s emotional and dynamic rock set, and The Front Bottoms with their infectiously catchy hooks, this was a night that will be hard to beat.