Saturday, April 26, 2008

Paint it Black / Cloak/Dagger / Lighten Up! / Stay Sharp - 4.25.08

Siren Records, Doylestown

Heather and I made the trek up to Doylestown on Friday night for one of the more solid punk lineups in a bit. I was genuinely excited to see every band on the bill, and I'm not just saying that because I have friends in a few of them. We got there and grabbed some Rita's just in time to get in and see Stay Sharp getting started.

Stay Sharp are a newer punk/hardcore band from Philly, and I'm glad I finally got to see them live. The first thing I noticed was a slick gear set up, and it paid off because they sounded really good. Big and full, which is something you don't always get from an opening band. They had a fairly energetic set, with the singer bouncing all over the stage and everyone else looking excited to be playing such a solid show. They threw in a Warzone cover and closed with "Charge The Mound" (from their Myspace), and although the crowd wasn't losing their minds or anything, they seemed to enjoy Stay Sharp, so hopefully they picked up some new fans from their solid opening set.

It's been a long time since I've seen Lighten Up, which is weird, since they're one of my favorite local bands, and great group of dudes. I tried to remember, and I think the last time I saw them was at This is Hardcore back in April. I know they took a bit of time off, but it still has been way too long. Since then, they've added Colin (None More Black, Paint it Black, others) on second guitar, and it definitely beefed up the sound. Both he and Kev ran through a variety of great sounding amps, and their set sounded great, although a bit too loud. They played a handful of songs from their demo and I'd Rather Be Snoring 7", as well as some newer songs. They're recording soon for a full length on Jumpstart, which should be pretty awesome. Their set was quick and to the point, and I was glad to finally see them again.

Another band that it's been too long since I've seen is Cloak/Dagger. The last time I saw them was Fest, when they turned in one of the best sets I've seen from them. Last night was another good one. They mixed songs from last year's great We Are with some songs from their demo and 7 inch. They really didn't waste much time, and flew through their set, which seemed a bit short. Thankfully, they're playing Monday at Deep Sleep, so I'm hoping they play a bit longer. I also hope they have their new 7", since they didn't have it on their table when I walked by last night. Regardless, it was a fun set, and they sounded good.

Now, a band that I have seen a lot lately is Paint it Black, but they never disappoint. Last night was no exception. They came out with tons of energy on "The Ledge" and within minutes, Dan's mic had been ripped away and he had blood dripping down his chin. As with Cloak/Dagger, their set seemed a bit shorter than usual, but they ripped through it with the usual energy and intensity. Dan's banter and stage presence seemed a bit more aggressive than usual, and the crowd matched it, although the stage dives were some of the worst I've seen in a while. There was a 12 year old there who threw up some of the best of the night. Hilarious and great. They closed with the normal ending lately of "Memorial Day" and "Atticus Finch" but didn't play "Shell Game Redux" to set those up. Bummer. I didn't hear "Goliath" either, which they've been playing lately and I'm really loving. Either way, they played a great set full of energy and a good song choice. With as much as they've been playing the area lately, I assume it will be a while before I see them again. Hopefully that will be soon though.

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