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Tuesday night saw two bands with different genres take on a large crowd at the Town Ballroom, and both actS nailed their respective performances. Arizona natives, Lydia, took to the stage first, setting the tone quite nicely. Established back in 2003 by frontman Leighton Antelman, the quintet comprised of highly talented musicians have provided direct support for numerous acts over the years. This time around, the dudes of Lydia hit the road with emo/punk rockers Moose Blood, who have been stopping at venues all across North America. Being primarily fit into the indie rock/pop genre, it is easy at first glance to typecast Lydia as just another “run of the mill” indie band. However, that would be a very unjust assumption. Evolving on past works that saw the band have a more upbeat tone to their music, Lydia have changed up their sound with their recently released single titled “Goodside”. With the addition of synth and bolstering lead and backing vocals, this new found sound has shown that Lydia can adapt to the times while also retaining elements of their former selves.
Playing a 30 minute set comprised of songs from their past discography, a cover of Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”, and some new unreleased material, Lydia’s performance sincerely made a fan out of me. It was great to see a crowd form early on to catch these guys and sing along to the majority of their songs; a testament to how they’ve amassed a respectable following over the years. For a band that has existed over a decade now, one can easily see just how hard these guys have worked to get where they are today. It would be one thing if they were not unique and did not bring anything new to the table in terms of musicality, but Lydia offers a different take both in the studio and on stage. Their set radiated both confidence and talent which is exactly what a direct support act should possess, along with the chops to become a big staple in the indie music scene.
With more fans flooding into the venue later on, the stage was set and ready to go for headliners, Moose Blood, to come out guns blazing. Hitting the stage a little after 10, the Canterbury pop punk quartet opened with “Honey” off their critically acclaimed sophomore album, Blush from back in 2016. Many have cited that Moose Blood are one of the only pop/emo punk bands that continue to defy the generic expectations of their genre. Although most bands that fall in Moose Blood’s category tend to bore me with their sound, Moose Blood is the opposite. Songs such as “Gum”, “It’s Too Much”, and “Cherry” are driven by sophisticated lyrics and intricate/catchy hooks that can make even the hardest of music snobs appreciate the artistic values that Moose Blood brings to the table. Although their recently released album, I Don’t’ Think I Can Do This Anymore, sounds very similar to Blush, these U.K. rockers still have many hooked on their catchy sound with this new LP. Playing songs old and new, Eddy Brewerton (frontman) announced earlier on in their set that he was battling a bad case of laryngitis. In all honesty, one would not even have noticed Brewerton’s handicap because of how crisp the band sounded in their entirety. I felt like I was back in the glory days of middle school listening to blink-182’s Enema of the State.
Bringing back the classic sounds of the good old 2000’s (blink-182, Sum 41, Yellowcard) and mixing in a darker/modern aesthetic, Moose Blood is exactly what pop punk should be. Technically sound and musically inclined, their set was brimming with energy that the Buffalo crowd was 100% loving. It is no wonder why these guys have made such tremendous progress both at home in Europe and abroad in such a short period of time. Although it may have seemed like an odd pairing on paper, I really thought that both Lydia’s and Moose Blood’s sound meshed well together. Having finished up their North American tour in Toronto the following night, you can still catch Moose Blood as they head back to Europe to finish off their remaining show dates. However, Lydia will not be joining them for the remainder but keep an eye out for announcements for upcoming tours considering Lydia has released new material.