Pop-Break Live: Bayside (Starland Ballroom)

Words & Photos by Keeyahtay Lewis

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Bayside’s 15th Anniversary Tour with Man Overboard and Senses Fail at Starland Ballroom

Bayside was on tour celebrating their 15th year as a band. In today’s musically fickle culture, 15 years as a touring/recording band is no small feat. On Saturday night, Bayside (April 3) brought that tour to Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, and I was there for it. Rounding out the lineup with Seaway, Man Overboard and Senses Fail, this show was sold out and packed wall to wall.

Both Man Overboard and Senses Fail are NJ born and bred, so obviously they are Starland Ballroom favorites. And the crowd acted accordingly for both. ManO grabbed the crowds’ attention early, and held onto it through their whole set. Clearly the audience was ready to “defend pop-punk”. They bounced all around their 3 albums in their 10 song set.

Senses Fail took the stage shortly after ManO left. It’s been a while since I have seen Senses Fail live and it was definitely worth the wait. To call their set blistering would be an understatement. Buddy Nielsen didn’t stop moving for even one second. He stalked the stage throwing kicks and other moves straight out of Street Fighter. Half way through the set, Buddy addressed his recently ‘coming out as queer.’ It was a heavy moment; he spoke of his years of suffering. He used this time to ask everyone to show compassion for everyone in their own struggles. They ended their set with fan favorite “Bite to Break Skin” and it was clear that the crowd was wanting more as they left the stage.

At 10:15 Bayside took the stage, and promptly showed why 15 years later they are still a band to be reckoned with. They opened up their 15 song set with “Pigsty” with the intensity of a band who still has something to prove. Made up of Singer/guitarist Anthony Raneri, Nick Ghanbarian on bass, Jack O’Shea on lead guitar, and Chris Guglielmo on drums. Hailing from New York, Bayside are no strangers to Starland Ballroom and as mentioned by Anthony, it feels like home for them.

They played an impressive 21 song set which included a lot of fan favorites. Every song was a sing along though, and the band fed off of that energy. Anthony, Nick and Jack traded spots on stage though out their set, making sure to address every single person in the room. It was easy to see that even after all these years and shows together, the band loves playing together.

For the encore Anthony came out and played what is arguably their most popular song, “Don’t Call Me Peanut.” He played this solo and it turned into a 3000 strong sing along. It was pretty special to hear in person. What made this even more special was the fact that he played this song from the security post in the middle of the audience. Fantastic.

It was an incredible night and if you didn’t get a chance to catch this tour you definitely missed out on something spectacular. Bayside isn’t slowing down though; in May they hit the UK to continue this epic run. Clearly 15 years as a band haven’t slowed them down at all.


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