While DJ Dan isn’t Fist Fighting Gravity from 2-4pm every Tuesday, you can often find him fist fighting his way through crowds at the punk show! Last week, Dan saw Crying and The Hotelier. Read below to find out how the show went!
On Sunday, October 3rd, the Echo was host to the first show of Crying and The Hotelier’s fall tour, to be joined by Joyce Manor in San Francisco the following day. The crowd filed in gradually in the 90 minutes between doors opening and Crying’s set time, taking up a majority of the small venue by the time the three-piece appeared from the green room.
Throughout their 40-minute-long set, Crying’s musical prowess shone through the few minor hiccups that naturally arose from their first show on a new tour – and with a new drummer joining the lineup for the first time. For a band that stood out on its first studio recordings mostly because of its unique combination of 8-bit production and pop-punk energy, Crying sounded remarkably different on stage. Consisting solely of drums, guitar, vocals, and an iPod with the pre-produced tracks loaded onto it, the instrumentalists stole the show while the quirky production was more of a background feature. Ryan Galloway’s masterful guitar work, memorable to KSPC after Crying’s performance in Claremont at NoChella 2015, provided a more powerful driving force than most bands can produce with two or three instruments. Mixed in with palm-muted strumming, his quick riffs and sharp pinch harmonics seared through the air, their tone complementing the Gameboy synth surprisingly well. All the while Elaiza Santos’s vocals, somewhat overshadowed due to their low volume, told stories full of references to life in New York City, sometimes goofy, sometimes reflective. Familiar tracks from 2014’s Get Olde / Second Wind were mixed in with some samples from their new release, Beyond the Fleeting Gales, an album whose departure from the dominance of chiptune is more consistent with their live sound.
By the end of Crying’s set, the venue had become noticeably more packed and it was clear that the majority of the crowd had come for the headliners. The Hotelier took the stage promptly at 10:00 (punk time be damned!) and were welcoming a new member to their touring lineup as well. Scott Ayotte, who previously contributed to Hotelier studio albums, fit in seamlessly. The set started off fittingly with “An Introduction to the Album,” the opening track off of 2014’s Home, Like NoPlace Is There. Predictable though it may have been, it’s hard to choose a better song to kick off a tour than “Introduction”, which leads with the phrase “open the curtains” and builds from a soft opening to its near-screaming conclusion, along the way taking the audience on a journey through some of that album’s darkest and most abundant themes: self-harm, abuse, and the loss of a friend. For the rest of their set, the band moved through an even mix of songs from Home and from this year’s record Goodness, which despite its moments of pain is focused on love rather than the crushing agony of Home. Unlike in Crying’s opening performance, the individual instrumentalists were showcased much less, with guitars, bass and drums working together in swells. The Hotelier’s emphasis was, depending on the part of a song, either the collective intensity of their sound or the articulate lyrics of singer-bassist Christian Holden. They rolled through a ten-song rollercoaster of a set before an encore of “Goodness, Pt. 2” followed by “Your Deep Rest.” The closing track was an interesting choice, as despite being one of their most popular, it is also perhaps their most devastating, telling the crushing story of a close friend’s suicide. Its live performance was nevertheless a perfect example of the catharsis that is, above all, the sentiment delivered by The Hotelier’s music. It was a powerful and appropriate, if not exactly uplifting, conclusion to an impressive show.