by Erik van Rheenen
No influx of local openers blaring blink-182 cover songs to a there-but-barely-there crowd. No overcrowded bill where something like six different bands vie for shorter and shorter set times. Just three bands, — possibly the bands doing the most in their own respective sounds — a no-barriers, cozy stage-to-audience distance, and a rain-battered crowd armed with all the lyrics and a desire to crowd-surf when given the chance.
There’s no scientific formula for the perfect concert atmosphere, but had scientific progress made rapid developments in the field, the result might’ve looked something like Saturday night’s Lost Horizon concert slate of Connecticut throwback punkers Hostage Calm, Chicago songwriting wunderkind Evan Weiss and his backing band, and linchpin emo-turned-alt-rock band Saves the Day.
“Throwback punkers” is a term I use very, very loosely in the case of Hostage Calm — when lead singer Chris “Cmar” Martin opened the show with a softly-strummed acoustic introduction to “The ‘M’ Word,” the band had more in common with, say, The Beach Boys than The Ramones. At least that was until the rest of the band kicked in, giving the achingly nostalgic Please Remain Calm cut a blisteringly fast makeover.
Despite mic stand woes plaguing the set — Martin carried the darn thing around the stage, though it came in handy for mic passes and sing-along moments — the band soldiered on through mostly Please Remain Calm tracks, busting out “Brokenheartland” to “Woke Up Next to a Body” and “On Both Eyes” in a torrid clip of hooks and taut harmonies. After a rowdy-if-not-quite-raucous set Saturday night, I’m torn between wanting to catch them in concert again in the near future and crossing my fingers they return to the studio soon. If their barnstorming “Olly Olly Oxen Free” (which made for some stellar call-and-response sing-alongs) isn’t enough to get fans excited for a Please Remain Calm follow-up, I’m not sure what will.
Run For Cover Records’ CMJ Showcase is going to be a fun time this year. It’s taking place on October 19th at Santos Party House in New York City and will be with Tigers Jaw, Pity Sex, Hostage Calm, Modern Baseball, Young Statues, and more. Check out all the details below after the jump.
PropertyOfZack is stoked to be teaming up The Hoxton in Toronto, CA to give away a pair of tickets to see Saves The Day, Into It. Over It., and Hostage Calm. The contest will end on September 21st, so find out how to enter below!
To win tickets to STD in CA you must do each of the following things:
So far, PropertyOfZack has brought you two Inside segments on your favorite label, Run For Cover Records. Both pieces have focused on commentary from the label in both an oral history and an introduction to its employees and their personalities. Our third piece, Band Tales, is a little different.
What makes Run For Cover so great (first and foremost) are the bands that have been making great music on the label for so many years now, so we have a Perspective on the story of how Fireworks, Tigers Jaw, This Is Hell, Citizen, and others first got caught up in the great web that Run For Cover is still spinning for music culture.
It’s a universally accepted fact among Run For Cover bands — current and alumni alike — that everyone’s got a Jeff Casazza story to tell.
Some are sentimental. Every June, Casazza flies out to Michigan to hang out at a lake house with the band Fireworks, in memory of their first tour. According to Kyle O’Neil, that tour sucked. “It was like a week long and three or four shows fell through,” he reminisces. “But we really got to know Jeff.”
The tour may have faltered, but Fireworks and Casazza still have tons of reason to celebrate the release of We Are Everywhere seven years later. Both the band and the label founder were still learning the ropes when Casazza got in touch with the band — short on prospects, and with only two demo-quality songs online. “We were very young, and we hadn’t grown into our sound yet. And he was just a kid like us. Now we’ve grown as people,” O’Neil laughs. “But deep down we’re still the same fuck ups we were then.”
That EP was one of the first releases where Run For Cover splurged on the recording — something like $4,000. When the band met at their then-drummer’s house for practice, they called a rushed meeting about Casazza’s investment. “It was the first thing he had to invest in, and it forced Jeff to take the label seriously,” O’Neil says. “And it forced us to take being a band seriously.”
Fireworks wound up going over budget in the studio, and O’Neil remembers that each member of the band had to cover $100 out of their own pockets. “Except Dave,” he’s quick to add. “Jeff had to cover for Dave, and Dave still hasn’t paid him back to this day. We still joke about it.”
Some defy reality. The details still elude Tigers Jaw’s Ben Walsh, but when the band was on tour in the United Kingdom, Casazza missed a flight to Ireland due to plane ticket woes, and “somehow spent the day living it up with the daughter of some prominent Duke.” A second yarn Walsh spins about Casazza: “Jeff may or may not have sat on an entire pizza. I can’t confirm or deny this story.”
Those Casazza pseudo-urban legends from someone Walsh considers “one of my favorite people to hang out with” — despite his insistence on watching Dew Tour and Rammstein music videos — are a long shot from 2008, when the running joke was that “Jeff didn’t like us because our initial interactions were brief,” Walsh says. “But he was really just preoccupied with sorting things out with Title Fight.”
When the band signed to RFC, Walsh says they were “more friends than clients.” While Tiger’s Jaw was recording Two Worlds, he saw friends’ bands — signed to other record labels – asked to slash songs from albums. Those other labels were “trying to dictate how their vocals ‘should sound,’ or making them work with a specific producer.” Not so for Tigers Jaw.
The trust forged between Run For Cover and Tigers Jaw quashed all constraints on the band, freeing them to write any kind of music they wanted to write. “I don’t even think Jeff made us send him demos before we actually started recording,” Walsh says. “It was incredibly liberating to create the music we wanted to create without any sort of pressure or requirements.”
Riot Fest has added a slew of great bands and artists like Pixies, Hostage Calm, Pet Symmetry, Andrew WK, and more to the Chicago date of its festival, which has now someone gotten even better. Buy tickets here and check out the updated lineup below!
We’ve spent the last few weeks doing midyear reports at PropertyOfZack for our favorite albums, best surprise releases, and our most anticipated records for the second half of 2013. We’re wrapping up our midyear reporting today with the biggest stories on POZ in the first six months of the year. Check them out below and let us know what your favorite moments of 2013 so far have been!
January 25th, 2013 was the biggest day in PropertyOfZack’s history following our exclusive announcement of Fall Out Boy’s reunion. Though the band denied it in clever ways for a few weeks, it turned out that the death threats and homophobic slurs made against us turned out to be false. Fall Out Boy are back, and it’s been a fun six months watching them get back to their old ways.
It was a late Wednesday night when Gerard Way broke the news that My Chemical Romance had decided to call it quits. Fans were shocked, and so were we.
Follow-up: Frank Iero, James Dewees Start New Band
March Sadness was a giant success for us at PropertyOfZack. It was our fun way of celebrating our favorite emo bands, but none of us thought Dads would take home the sad crown.
Of Mice & Men mysteriously disappeared from two dates of A Day To Remember’s spring tour, and PropertyOfZack was able to confirm the absence was due to Austin Carlile being arrested. We never got much explanation from the band or Carlile following his release from jail.
This was great. Patrick Stump took to Twitter to take down one big troll, and the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Shane Morris, the troll in question, had been harassing Fall Out Boy fans and suggest that they kill themselves for liking the band. PStump took care of them.
Saves The Day, Into It. Over It., Hostage Calm Fall Tour
A Hostage Calm fan was assaulted in a North Carolina bar for wearing a I Support Same-Sex Marriage shirt. The band responded to the situation with a statement of their own.
No one knows what’s going on. All Brand New’s European festival dates, including Reading and Leeds, have been cancelled due to insurmountable issues in the band. Hopefully we hear more soon.
Tonight Alive dropped off of a US tour with Go Radio earlier this year, and we now know the reasoning behind it: Jenna McDougall has struggled from a severe medical condition for years now, and she opened up in a truly brave way to fans to explain her condition.
Touché Amoré will be blasting back with their Parting The Sea follow-up this fall.
AFI will be releasing a new album this fall via Republic Records.
This is crazy, scary, and worth the lengthy read.
Hostage Calm have posted a statement regarding the news that a fan was assaulted due to his wearing of a “I Support Same-Sex Marriage” shirt. Check out the statement below after the jump.