Even though the calendars say Spring is here, it hasn’t looked or felt like it on the East Coast yet. Last Saturday I made my way to Asbury Park, New Jersey through a huge rain storm to see I Am The Avalanche, The Swellers, Ghost House, and Franchise. However, this depressing weather didn’t stop me or the crowd from attending and have a good time.
The first band to play was a local band from New Jersey called Franchise. A very high energy band that pulls similar sounds of early Finch and Glassjaw. I wasn’t familiar with the band, but they seemed to have a few amount of fans in attendance. Towards the end of their set, the lead singer did say it was his last show with the band and that he was moving to California. They do have a new singer lined up and hopefully that person has the same energy as this past singer because he did a great job performing.
Ghost House, another local New Jersey band, was next. Playing more of a pop rock sound than Franchise, this band is just starting and seems to have a good amount of followers already. Already playing Asbury Lanes a couple of times, I think this band will be making their way around the tri state area soon if they haven’t already.
After local support, The Swellers came on and I was blown away. I have heard of them and heard songs, but in a live setting, they did an excellent job. I wasn’t expecting so many sing-a-longs and stage dives during their set. After I saw them, I wondered why they weren’t bigger. Then again it seems like a common thing with Michigan bands like We Are The Union. Sadly I clump The Swellers with bands like We Are The Union, talented and great, but people don’t seem to realize it until they are gone like Punchline, Digger, and Sherwood. Hopefully The Swellers keep going on and get the success they deserve.
Closing out the night was I Am The Avalanche. This was my forth time seeing I Am The Avalanche and so far I have seen them on big stages, very tiny stages with 10 people in attendance, to stages that looked like it was a store front in the middle of nowhere. This show though was probably their best. I don’t remember the band or the fans being as energetic. People stage diving, yelling in the mic, band members jumping in the crowd, even a cell phone thrown on stage (see picture below), I think I Am The Avalanche is finally comfortable in their own skin. Also the new members seem to be a perfect fit. I Am The Avalanche went through a 16 song set playing a lot off their new album Wolverines a decent amount off Avalanche United and only a few off their self-titled. Looking back on that album and the new ones, they have come a long way. Even though the self-titled has a special place in my heart, their new sound is really good and I expect it to get better with the next album. Also their stage presence is more of a hardcore show now, which I think they should get a slot on This Is Hardcore fest in Philly. Closing the night with “Brooklyn Dodgers”, I Am The Avalanche finished their first tour run off their new album. I expect a lot more touring after this and the guys never slowing down.