HomeMusicBayside Concert Delivers Master Class in Performance Art

Bayside Concert Delivers Master Class in Performance Art

Pop Break Live: Bayside with Anxious at Fillmore Silver Spring – June 9, 2022 

Photos + Words by David Weaver

Originally, it was going to be a night of punk rock prowess as Bayside and Thrice take the stage at Fillmore Silver Spring. Unfortunately, Thrice had to cancel their performance. However, that didn’t stop Bayside, and their opener Anxious, from putting on an awesome show. I mean that in the literal sense. Though for different reasons, their performances left me in awe. 

First up was Anxious, a rock band based out of Connecticut, who just released their debut album Little Green House this year. The album is named after founder and vocalist Grady Allen’s mother’s house, where he penned the lyrics for the album during the pandemic. 

Anxious put on a performance that you’d usually only see with seasoned musical veterans. Their stage presence was phenomenal, showcasing consistently huge energy throughout the entire set. It had the raw, barely controlled chaos of a basement rock show, but moved with the confidence and showmanship of experienced musicians. And it’s no wonder, as Grady has been in bands since he was 14 years old, and he’s currently 21. The vocals and instrumentals were raw and honest, and the showmanship was celebratory yet chaotic, seasoned with punk rock hops and high flying rocking rocket leaps.

I have rarely seen an opening act not only command the stage so expertly but draw the audience in with the same practiced ease that they played their instruments. If you haven’t seen Anxious, go see them. If you haven’t heard them, go listen to them. Their debut album doesn’t hold back, immediately hitting hard with driving riffs and honest vocals–especially their track “In April.” If “Little Green House” is the foundation of this band’s future, then I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of musical monolith they build next.

As for the main act, the audience was cheering even before Bayside took the stage. It was almost as if they could sense what was about to happen. Bayside didn’t just put on a concert, they taught a master class in performance. Let me explain: You can get on stage and sing, or play an instrument, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re performing. Performing involves expressing the emotions of the piece–whether vocally or instrumentally–and connecting with the audience. Bayside did this masterfully, combining performing with storytelling. I’d go so far as to say it was not only a concert, but an accurate example of performance art.

Anthony Raneri is as talented a vocalist as he is a storyteller, expertly utilizing a complicated, dynamic style. He will, over the course of a song, shift from speaking rhythmically or conversationally, as though acting out lines infused with emotion, to delivering verses with the casual swinging sass of a lounge singer, to the raw and honest punk rock vocals, to even utilizing the hints of a metal growl when accenting consonants when portraying agitation in a story.

In this way, vocally, each song is incredibly memorable and unique. Even the lyrics, such as in the song “Devotion and Desire” are both poetic and vivid, such as in the line, “and I know the spark inside your eyes was just the match I used to set myself on fire.”  Another example of Anthony’s storytelling is especially noticeable in “Strangest Faces,” their latest release, where he begins the song by speaking in hushed, rhythmic tones, as though confiding a dreaded secret to the listener with the lines, “I have seen the strangest faces–yellow teeth and scary eyes.” It’s conversational, it’s relatable, and thus readily connects the listener to the music.

The band members are just as talented in their versatile delivery, whether showcasing expert synergy in how they blend with the vocals or playing some incredibly unique solos and backing instrumentals. If Anthony is telling a story, then it’s the instrumentals that are setting the scene and emphasizing the emotions. In “Strangest Faces,” shortly after Anthony’s hushed, secret-confiding tone, the instrumentals immediately set a nightmarish horror movie tone.

Even during the instrumental break, after the chorus, there’s a sort of inverted, collapsing scale that builds, then descends, over, and over again, followed by the sound of a high pitch guitar riff akin to that of a radio that’s tuning between white static chaos. It expertly portrays the feeling of being unable to not only wake up from a nightmare but also of being unable to make sense of the chaos, unable to establish a sense of order. Overall, “Strangest Faces” is an expertly crafted piece. Even the drums rise and fall with the beat, keeping time and simulating an almost sense of fevered panic as Anthony delves into the refrain.

These were just a few of the songs that Bayside performed in an unforgettably epic set. If you haven’t seen Bayside live before, definitely check them out while they’re on tour. If you haven’t heard their latest release “Strangest Faces” yet, do so. You can check out the full set list from the show below:

  1. The Walking Wounded
  2. Already Gone
  3. They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns
  4. Prayers
  5. Carry On
  6. Strangest Faces
  7. Masterpiece
  8. Interrobang
  9. Tortures of the Damned
  10. Sick, Sick, Sick
  11. Tall
  12. It Don’t Exist
  13. Mary
  14. Duality
  15. Poland
  16. Montauk
  17. Blame It On Bad Luck
  18. I’ve Been Dead All Day
  19. Devotion and Desire


Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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