Concert Review: Modern Baseball @ Baltimore Soundstage (Baltimore, MD) & The Fillmore (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
July 4th, 2016 by Margaret Jokoh
Review by: Tara Howell
Right after MoBo surprise released The Perfect Cast EP, I had the chance to see them for the first time at my favorite Baltimore venue, Ottobar, in the fall of 2015. More than any other concert I’ve been to, it felt like a group therapy session. In a room full of strangers, I’ve never felt more connected. It was at this concert that I really, really realized not only how powerful music is, but how special this band really is.
When given the opportunity to see Modern Baseball on their Holy Ghost tour twice, I jumped right on it. After such an amazing experience at Ottobar and with the release of their new album, I was dying to see them again. I would be seeing them in the 2 places they called home – Philly and Baltimore. Natives of Maryland, Brendan and Jake started as an acoustic duo in their MD hometown. Both relocated to Philly for college, and that’s when Ian and Sean joined the lineup. I couldn’t pass this up.
On Sunday June 26th, I saw them in Philly at The Fillmore. This was my first time seeing a proper show in Philly, and my first time at The Fillmore. I was extremely impressed with how well everything ran, as well as how tight security was. The venue is decently sized, with a bar in the back and VIP seating up top. I really enjoyed the venue size – it is big enough to host considerable acts, but small enough that you don’t feel like you are a million miles away from the band. It was a big room of people, but it was an intimate concert. It felt like I was in a room full of friends, even in a city I wasn’t from and literally came by myself.
The show opened with Thin Lips, who I had never heard of before. The band is also from Philly, and best described as female fronted indie/punk rock band. I thoroughly enjoyed their set, and have since been listening to their most recent release, Divorce Year. A great act, and I’m little upset I didn’t listen to this group before this!
Then came Joyce Manor. I’m a big fan of Joyce Manor, and have listened to their music pretty casually after their music was recommended to me. Never Hungover Again is an absolutely fantastic album, even for just clocking in at just under 20 minutes. Joyce Manor is an intense, no nonsense type of band. Almost all of their songs are under 3 minutes, and are just straightforward, intense punk with no frills. Their set was also fantastic, and really got the crowd excited.
Modern Baseball come on next. We were welcoming the band home, and you could feel the excitement in the air. I was really impressed by the setlist that they chose to play. With a solid mix of songs from each album, and a mix of sounds. From slower songs like “Cooke”, to deep cuts like “Your Graduation”. I honestly felt like it was a great mix of everything their band has written. The band didn’t talk much exceptt to crack a few jokes about them being memes, thank everyone for coming to their hometown show, and just to explain that they were trying to play as many songs as they could.
On Tuesday June 28th, I got the chance to see them again at Baltimore Soundstage. This time I was going with 2 of my really great friends, and had a photo pass to shoot the show. Soundstage is a much different atmosphere than The Fillmore, so I really enjoyed the chance in space. The Fillmore has a traditional venue feeling, where Soundstage feels a bit more like a club. Smaller, lower ceilings, and a bit grungier. I was so down for it. Despite being from Baltimore, this was actually my first time at Soundstage. Right by the Inner Harbor, it was easy to get to from Loyola. The lineup was the same as before, and all of the bands killed it once again. These shows were definitely some of the best I have ever been to!
Note to Self
Broken Cash Machine
Revenge of the Nameless Ranger
Tears Over Beers
Alpha Kappa Fall Of Troy The Movie Part Deux
Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind
Going To Bed Now
The Old Gospel Choir
Two Good Things
The Thrash Particle
Just Another Face