ConcertMusicReview

Modern Baseball Live at Irving Plaza

Jacob Cutler ‘19 / Emertainment Monthly Music Editor

Philadelphia pop punk group Modern Baseball is no longer a rookie in the music game. Three albums into their career, Modern Baseball is still going strong and touring nonstop. On June 25, the band played their second sold-out show at New York City’s Irving Plaza. The crowd was packed with people seeing them for the first time, and some who already saw them the night before.

Modern Baseball did not disappoint. From start to finish, they performed with passion and great energy. The stage started off dimly lit with the title track from their recent album, Holy Ghost, playing through the speakers. As the song played, the band quickly entered from stage right and anxiously waited to start. The second that “Holy Ghost” ended, the band began to play “Wedding Singer,” one of their many new tunes to love. Once the band started playing, the atmosphere drastically changed. Not a single person in the crowd was idly watching. They were almost mimicking bassist Ian Farmer’s jumping bean-like energy. 

Photo by Jacob Cutler
Photo by Jacob Cutler

Modern Baseball performed many tracks off Holy Ghost , as well as a healthy mix of songs from LPs Sports and You’re Gonna Miss It All, and 2015 EP MOBO Presents: The Perfect Cast EP Featuring Modern Baseball. It was a perfect mix of new hits and classic Modern Baseball songs. The band performed each song without any difficulties and they sounded nearly as good as their records.

Despite how spectacular Modern Baseball sounded, they did not go above and beyond what the audience was expecting. Fans were definitely happy with the performance, but it was lacking a certain wow factor. For some, it might have been the fact that the magic might not be there after seeing them for the first time. For others, it might be because the band didn’t have a huge amount of showmanship. Except for bassist Ian Farmer, the rest of the band stayed fairly stationary. Both guitarists/vocalists Jake Ewald and Brendan Lukens moved around from time to time, but it was not captivating.

Photo by Jacob Cutler
Photo by Jacob Cutler

Modern Baseball ended the set with the closing track from Holy Ghost, “Just Another Face.” Upon finishing, Modern Baseball thanked the audience and exited the stage. It did not take very long for fans to demand an encore. The chanting started the second the band started to walk offstage. It only took Modern Baseball a few minutes to come back on to give the crowd some more of their infectious melodies and hard-hitting riffs. They decided to play two songs for their encore instead of one. The first was “The Thrash Particle,” and after they finished, Lukens introduced their final song as a cover. This wasn’t something out of character for them. Modern Baseball is known to play covers from time to time (especially “When You Were Young” by The Killers). Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t a cover. Instead, they played arguably their most popular song, “Your Graduation.” When it came time for drummer Sean Huber to sing his part, he took center stage while someone from one of the earlier acts took over on drums and the guitarist from Thin Lips took over bass for Farmer while he switched to keys. With this new addition to the performance, the energy onstage and in the crowd skyrocketed. It was definitely the best possible way Modern Baseball could have ended the show.

Even though Modern Baseball did lack some stage presence, their fans feel so connected to their music, and that was more than enough for all. No matter how much of a “show” Modern Baseball puts on, their fans are loyal and dedicated and will always buy a ticket to see their show, no matter what comes next.

Photo by Jacob Cutler
Photo by Jacob Cutler

 

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