Manchester Orchestra make rock music. While you could potentially apply any number of hyphenates to their style, they are all extraneous. They make “rock” music, and, they make it well. More than a decade in to the game, Andy Hull has one of the most prestigious discography’s in the biz, and he’s barely 31. Five (technically six) albums, a fistful of EPs, and an ever growing legion of fans that realize that Manchester Orchestra is not here to reinvent rock music, but to save it.
Each album buys them a bigger venue, from North Star Bar, to TLA, to the Temple Performing Arts Center, and finally Sunday night at the Fillmore. Each step up is paid for in blood and sweat, as they work hard to earn their status as a must-see live act. Selling out the venue, they did not shy away from fan favorites like “Shake It Out” mingled amongst new material from A Black Mile to the Surface (opening with the triple-threat of “The Maze,” “The Gold,” and “The Moth”). Every song sounds thunderous, even milder material on the albums comes with a layer of grit on it when Hull’s falsetto goes reaching, straining for the skylights.
Opener Tigers Jaw makes old school emo for new school kids. Hailing from Scranton PA, and birthed in the aftermath of bands like Taking Back Sunday, they’ve always had a fresh energy in a genre that many may label as stale. Fresh and exciting to see live, the dual vocal dynamics of Ben Walsh and Brianna Collins are always playful, and you’d be hard up to tell that they’ve already gone through the motions of breaking up and reuniting. Touring behind the excellent album Spin, they’re also fresh off a stint at Made In America and a show at Union Transfer, so there are no signs of slowing down.
Foxing make new school emo for new school kids. And old school heads. And really anyone that wants to see what the next iteration of the aging post-rock genre looks like. They have a youthful exuberance that belies their skill as musicians. They came in to the Fillmore with nothing to prove, but earned their moment in the spotlight, and the many more they are sure to have.
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