The songs are filled with bro spirit and camaraderie rather than self-indulgent sulking. Plus, who can crowdsurf and cry at the same time?
If you were to base your expectations of a Modern Baseball show entirely on your first impressions of their music, you might imagine of a room full of mopey teenagers thinking about feelings and stuff, quietly shuffling and swaying. But you’d be very wrong – well, apart from the youthfulness. You might also think the band would take themselves somewhat seriously, but you would also be wrong. If you’re not familiar with Modern Baseball, just watching one of their music videos or giving them a quick google image search will no doubt make you fall in love with them instantly.
Following punky chums Tiny Moving Parts’ fun-filled warm-up set, MoBo take to the stage. Teenagers stop dithering over the cool merch and make a dash for the front-centre, as single ‘Fine Great’ sets the tone of belt-along lyrics for the evening, a large amount of the Fleece joining in with the start – ‘I hate worrying about the future / cause all my current problems are based around the past’.
It’s clear from the beginning that Modern Baseball have a hefty and dedicated fanbase, and that they manage this because they write witty, self-depricating singalongs and are up for a laugh. The nature of their shows soon becomes apparent to the crowd as they play their first Bristol show – they’re here to put on a good show for the fans, but also to not take it seriously in the slightest. Their sometimes mopey songs become opportunities to sing along, dance and crowdsurf your way to the stage (before being escorted back down the stairs by a bouncer) and the band make cute banter as they mock each other for slipping up.
‘Broken Cash Machine’ and ‘Going To Bed Now’ are fan favourites, the latter gets everyone smirking and nodding with its melodic, chugging wit. The highlights are undoubtedly ‘Your Graduation’, a song with a solid chorus that sees everyone in the band singing perfectly together alongside the roaring crowd, and ‘The Weekend’ – an idyllic teenage dream of a song, with a swoon-worthy, euphoric refrain which the whole venue was screaming at the top of its lungs – ‘you got a smile that could light this town and we might need it / cause it gets dark around here’.
‘Rock Bottom’, from last year’s second album ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’ sums up the band well. It’s a song about the difficulties and brilliance of adolescence: complicated relationships, pizza, insecurity, brainstorming tattoos, sleeping in and a while bunch of ‘whatever forever’.
The real surprise comes when the opening chords of ‘When You Were Young’ by The Killers are made out, causing a confused but welcomed reaction. They play their way impressively through the whole song, half-joking and half-serious, as the crowd shout along with equal sentiments.
Grinning or laughing throughout the entire show, the band are in their element. Never once is the show anything but upbeat and enjoyable, because although the band are categorically emo, the songs are filled with bro spirit and camaraderie rather than self-indulgent sulking. Plus, who can crowdsurf and cry at the same time?
Check out ‘Your Graduation’ right here: