Four bands, one night; The Parish hosts emo, rock, punk bands that kill it on stage

Bridget Henderson

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On April 6, four emo/rock/punk/whatever-you-call-them bands took the stage at the Parish on Sixth Street.

New Jersey natives Pinegrove opened the show. It was only 7:30 p.m., yet the Parish was packed with people.

Arguably the most talented band, Pinegrove had everyone singing along to their folk-like indie rock music.

Lead singer Nandi Rose Plunkett’s lyrics consisted of harrowing on past mistakes, losing friends and moving on. His distinct southern drawl only prominent when he’s singing combined with the variety of volume and pitch in his voice blew the crowd away.

Personally, I was skeptical of why they were the opener and not closer to the headliner– they were the most engaging and genuine band.

Although Pinegrove has been an active band since 2010, they made their real come-up with their breakout album, “Cardinal,” released in 2016.

The band interacted with the crowd, even making jokes about Plunkett’s style choice for the night: short running shorts and a button down top. Not only are they musically talented and funny, but they have an air about them that feels like you’re sitting down with an old friend, hearing stories from their past when they play their songs.

The next band to play was Ohio’s own, The Sidekicks. This band came on stage full of energy and spunk, a stark contrast to Pinegrove.

Where the crowd interacted with Pinegrove and shouted honest lyrics along with them, they did not show up the same way for The Sidekicks. Maybe one or two people knew lyrics to a few songs, but otherwise it felt like the energy from the previous set was ruined by this band’s bubbly and eccentric pop-punk songs.

This is not to say that The Sidekicks did not bring passion. The lead singer, Steve Ciolek, hugged his guitar ferociously while he played, and even fell to the ground at some points, finishing the set on his knees.

The third band, The World is a Beautiful Place and I am no Longer Afraid to Die (TWIABP), was just as dramatic as their name. They filled the stage with eight members of the band. David Bello, the band’s frontman and singer, even sang into two microphones at once. Why the extra-extraness when they already had eight people squeezed up on the stage? Who knows?

On recording, this band has a unique sound that comes together nicely with deep lyrics, songs sounding like a personal catharsis. Live, they did not match up to their albums. They were not awful, but some songs were dragged out with unnecessary noise and echoes of one or more of their seven instruments.

Bello’s voice could not always be heard over the music, which was disappointing, because his live talent matched the graceful yet raw voice on the albums.

If any band can contribute their fame to the “emo-revival” many people have claimed to happen in the last three or four years, TWIABP is it.

Their lyrics consisted of overcoming depression and heartbreak, as do most emo bands. The interesting part about this is TWIABP is far from a typical emo band. Besides their numerous members, they have an extremely unique sound with extended breakdowns and intense energy.

Unfortunately, all of the headbanging and array of noises from TWIABP gave me too much of a headache to stay for the indie-emo-acoustic headliner Into It. Over It.

I’ve seen Evan Weiss perform many times, and he never disappoints. With a lineup like this, I am sure the crowd adored his performance, soothing their minds with acoustic guitar and sincere lyrics after a night of intense bands.