POZ Show Review: Pentimento, Gates
by Zac Lomas, edited by Erik van Rheenen
The Montage Music Hall in Rochester, NY is not exactly the venue you’d expect to see Buffalo natives Pentimento headline. The venue occupies the bottom floor of what can only be described as either a shady apartment complex or a shady hotel (differing between the two is simply a matter of semantics). Upon walking in, signed posters and pictures from bands such as Puddle of Mudd and other 90s/early 2000s “Hard Rock Icons” greet you, and the room’s décor screams Miami Vice chic. As if to cement the venue’s illegitimacy, a bevy of generic “jazz” photos line the men’s room walls, complete with the Stock Photo watermark, as if to signal that, “Yes, we are true music aficionados!”
However cheesy the Montage is, the credibility of the bands on the bill helped to salvage this show from being a true Debbie Downer, once again proving that even an awful venue cannot impede the perfection of a punk show. Opening the show, were local boys Storm The Bay, whose mix of straightforward pop-punk and easy-core convinced more than a few people in attendance to bob their heads along approvingly, while a select group of dedicated fans shouted lyrics back at front-man Nathan Hamberger.
In contrast to the bright and uplifting nature of Storm The Bay, California Cousins offered their solid emo chops to the bill, mixing twinkling guitar parts and intricate drumbeats into a true orgy of summertime sadness. Drummer Juan Ortiz’s precise and calculated polyrhythmic beats turned the tried and tested emo formula on its head, dotting the band’s tight set with smart and unusual time signatures. Jordan Serrano’s off-key crooning topped off the whole shebang, coming off as brutally honest and boldly upfront.