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Streetlight Manifesto, Lionize, and Hostage Calm

Royale Boston in Boston, MA
9
This concert was a much needed post-Thanksgiving wake up call, getting AltRockLive back into the groove of things after stuffing our faces full of turkey and mashed potatoes. It was an early show at the Royale nightclub in Boston; a relatively small but grandiose venue which provides an excellent space for intimate and engaging rock shows. It was our first time in the club and although the raised dance floor was somewhat strange, the interior decor was certainly interesting, if not a little out of place, considering the rowdy punk rock/ska show that was being featured that night.

We were very impressed with the openers for this show, both Lionize and Hostage Calm put on really solid performances. Lionize had great energy, introducing a fusion of reggae, hard rock, and punk elements to create a powerful sound that was well-received by our team. They were all clearly talented musicians, the keyboardist especially, and although the crowd was somewhat listless at this point in the show Lionoize sparked the fuse to what would eventually become an explosion of crowd energy.

Hostage Calm had an particularly interesting performance. Their edgy, exciting punk sound resonated well with the crowd and towards the end of their set many people were crowd-surfing, starting mosh pits, and otherwise letting themselves lose control. For some reason, two crowd members towards the front of the stage were defiantly against the band, and seemed to have some sort of personal vendetta to ruin their perfomace. They threw up their middle fingers throughout the entire performance, shouted obscenities, and voilently tossed cups of water and ice onto the members. This prompted the crowd to start giving ratings and approvals of their own with several thumbs up to show that not everyone was a complete dumbass. The two individuals in question were finally kicked out of the show when the band called them out to security, much to the delight of those in the audience who wanted to have a good time that night. Despite the disruptive antics, Hostage Calm continued to play as hard and loud they knew how. Their drummer especially did an excellent job of keeping up the energy and driving the show forward, and our team had a great time listening to their music.

Finally Streetlight Manifesto took the stage; it was the moment everyone in the crowd had been waiting for. Their first song caused the whole venue to explode with passionate dancing, flailing, and pushing. There was even a crowd-surfing kid in a dinosaur suit. Audience members screamed the words to every song along with Tomas Kalnoky as this impressively seasoned ska/punk ensemble rocked the shit out of the Royale. They made every song seem effortless as they hit every note and sung every word with more devotion and intensity than most bands around today.

Having never seen a Streetlight show before I was not sure what to expect, and boy was I blown away. It was as if the band and the crowd kept feeding off of each other's energy exponentially. The apex of this mutually-beneficial relationship produced more crowd-surfing than any show I've been too before, and when the show was over everyone left in what appeared to be a sweat-soaked daze of euphoria. Streetlight performed many of their most recognizable songs including: We Will Fall Together, Down Down Down to Mephisto's Cafe, Somewhere in Between, A Moment of Silence, The Receiving End of It All, Everything Went Numb, What a Wicked Gang are We Below, On & On & On, Dear Sergio, and Point/Counterpoint among many others.

What really impressed me about this show was how close to their recordings Streetlight sounded while still providing enough live expirementation to keep the show interesting for die hard fans. Tomas changed the pace with a solo performance or two, and Pete McCullough's technical, melodic, and finger-numbingly fast-paced Bass solos were incredibly well timed. The trumpet, trombone, and saxophone players were all surprisingly diverse in their playing, and Chris Thatcher's lightning fast and fluid drumming emanated pure talent.

I would recommend a Streetlight Manifesto show to almost anybody out there who enjoys great punk music and exciting live shows. Honestly I would be dissapointed to find anyone sit through the kind of show we saw at the Royale on an early Saturday night and not be thoroughly entertained and satisfied by the end of the night. Streelight provided everything I could have asked for in a great concert: interesting and unique openers, crowd participation and passion, loud sing-a-longs, quality sound engineering, airtight perfomance, a little bit of drama, stage-dancing crowd members, and an all around fun time that has cemented Streetlight Manifesto's spot on my list of must-see bands.

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