BY JESS BECK | Go Venue Magazine
Hello! I’m back to civilization after a harrowing move into my girlfriend’s house being without the Al Gore’s invention of the interwebs for nearly 3 weeks! So, to the readers – I apologize sincerely for the delay in writing this to you, but I promise now that I’m back to the connected life, there will be lots more to come!
Bayside has been a favorite punk rock outfit of mine for a long time, so when I heard they were coming through I was excited to cover them. Hailing from New York, they’ve got a real gritty undertone, combined with witty lyrics, it’s understandable why they’ve been able to last for almost two decades – and it was this energy that they brought with them to The Waiting Room in Omaha, NE on 22 December 2019.
I was a little nervous about the crowd turnout with the show being played so close to a major holiday (and I could care less if you call it ‘Christmas’ or ‘Solstice Day,’ or whatever), but I was pleasantly surprised to find The Waiting Room packed full of punk rock enthusiasts like myself. And that’s the thing about being at home in a punk rock crowd – everyone looks like they hate everyone, but deep down, we all just want a little bit of love – and there’s more on that a little later.
Although I missed the opener, Moonlighting, due to some confusion as to whether or not the doors opened at 1930 or if that’s when the show started (look at the event page, I wasn’t the only one!), I promised them I would make it up to them in a later article – but look em up anyway, they seem like a solid bunch of fellas.
Capstan was actually my favorite band of the night, which I couldn’t have anticipated. Mostly because I had never heard of them before that night, but that’s beside the point. Holy shit – I was blown away by how profound these guys were. They came out and hit like a sledgehammer right to the temple, and it was the most beautiful, symphonic, deeply worded lyrics I had heard in a long time. Imagine if Shakespeare got super introspective and started a punk rock band – well folks…this would be it. Rise Against meets early Panic! At The Disco if you will. If Tim McIlrath and Brendon Urie had a baby, they would’ve named it Capstan.
Opening with songs from their debut album Seasonal Depression which was birthed in 2015, but the one that really hit home for me was from their Restless Heart, Keep Running album called “Stars Before The Sun.” This track is an absolute banger, and you should go listen to it right meow. And they kept the jams coming, with “Wax Poetic,” “Reprieve,” and “Can’t.Lie.Around.Remembering.Everything.” Vocalist and bass player Andrew Bozymowski made sure to make a toast the roadies, the sound engineers, the volunteers, and the venue staff for their dedication to making shows like this possible, because they were once, in his words, “…just a local band trying to make it, and it’s because of people like you who come out and see our shows that we have a chance to succeed.” True words man, and I can say with confidence that I’m excited to catch you guys when you come back!
Bayside entered the stage afterwards, and kicked the show off with the same high energy that Capstan left it with. Drummer Chris Guglielmo sported a Santa hat while wailing away on the drums, but the warm cheers of the holiday season were upon all as vocalist Anthony Raneri got a little sentimental about having had the opportunity to play for the last 19 years at hundreds of shows, and thanked the audience for making that a reality for the band.
The whole show was stolen when they started a bit of an acoustic session. During the beginning of “It Don’t Exist” a young man rushed up onto the stage, dropped down on one knee, and proposed to the love of his life, validating that you can find love anywhere – even in a sweaty crowd full of people that look like they’d rather enjoy death than to continue living in our depression-swept late stage capitalist experiment of the United States.
But I digress…
The young lady answered with a resounding, “YES!” and they were congratulated by both the members of Bayside and the cheering crowd. And it was all downhill from there. Bayside continued to pump out hit after hit, and the crowd continued to soak up every minute of this punk rock masterpiece that might not have had the opportunity to make it had it not been for folks like you who come to shows and fill seats and…well…help keep the music scene alive.
And if that’s you – keep doing that shit.