If there’s one thing we can say for certain, it’s that Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. certainly knows how to put a tour line up together. This UK tour follows on from a US tour with The World is a Beautiful Place and Pinegrove and features the very entertaining Rozwell Kid along with a band almost equally as popular as his own, The Hotelier. His last UK stint was also a co-headlining tour with emo-punkers Modern Baseball. Talk about giving the fans value for money, eh?
That’s exactly what tonight’s show is; three very good bands and almost three hours of very good, often great, music; this Tuesday has really pulled it out of the bag.
The venue starts filling very early on which, again, is further testament to the quality of the line up on show here upstairs at Sound Control. It’s not very often that a crowd is willing to gather at 7:30pm on a random weekday to catch the first support band, but Manchester have made an effort to catch Rozwell Kid. It’s their first time in the UK but it appears that a few crowd members have been waiting for this to happen as crowd participation makes an early appearance. The band themselves come across as hugely endearing and funny individuals with not a speck of pretention in sight. It helps them capture the attention of those that are unfamiliar with their heavier-Motion City Soundtrack-minus-the-moog output and makes for a fine start to proceedings.
There’s a lot to squeeze in and so The Hotelier are very swift to take to the stage after Rozwell Kid depart it. With their new album ‘Goodness’ due out in just over a fortnight, there was always a chance that the set would be littered with fresh material but the Worchester four piece get the balance just right here. Aside from the already-premiered ‘Soft Animal’ and ‘Piano Player’ along with a couple of other new cuts, the set mostly pulls from their cult classic, 2014’s ‘Home, Like NoPlace Is There’. Frontman Christian Holden openly admits that he “missed banter classes at Rock Star School” but the crowd soon warms to his awkward wit; helped by some kind words about Manchester’s immaculate toilet facilities. We’re suckers for a compliment up north.
Such is the following of The Hotelier, they actually incite some of the more passionate shout-along moments of the evening with ‘Your Deep Rest’ (a particular highlight made all the more special by Rozwell Kid rushing the stage in animal suits bought for $48 by Evan Weiss), ‘In Framing’ and ‘An Introduction to an Album’ going down a storm. The response to their set only emphasises that Into It. Over It. aren’t the one sole draw for this show and will certainly have provoked any of Weiss’ fans that haven’t given them a listen yet to do just that.
And so, to evening’s main event. Weiss is coming to the end of 9 weeks of touring with the full band incarnation of Into It. Over It. in support of the fantastic ‘Standards’ which has just received its official European release. Thankfully, the album has been available digitally to the UK since its March release in the US; it’s a good job too as their set dips liberally into their latest.
They start strongly with ‘Closing Argument’ and the super charged ‘No EQ’ but quickly encounter difficulties with the first technical issue in a whole 2 months on the road. It doesn’t just rain in Manchester; it frequently pours and so it’s a few minutes before the show is back on the road but Weiss has enough in the way of chatter to ride it out.
The strength of the band’s 3 full lengths is fully realised tonight as they complement the accomplished ‘Standards’ cuts with gems from ‘Proper’ and ‘Intersections’. ‘No Good Before Noon’ segues nicely into ‘Vis Major’ despite them being 2 albums apart, the hushed ‘Anaesthetic’ provides a nice respite before ‘Upstate Blues’ brings things back up. The later features a guest vocal from a chap named Daniel in the crowd who is invited up on stage by Weiss in a moment of Dave Grohl-esque showmanship. It’s abundantly clear that this is a well-oiled machine that have refined a set that takes the right turns at the right times.
The back end of the set focuses more on the familiar as ‘Spinning Thread’ and ‘The Shaking of the Leaves’ sit alongside ‘Discretion and Depressing People’ and ‘Connecticut Steps,’ and encourage the remaining crowd to exercise their vocal chords. It is noticeable that the crowd has dwindled slightly which is a dire shame. Those that were there purely to see The Hotelier certainly missed a trick by not sticking around for the headline act but that need not worry Weiss. Tours of increasing length, albums with wide ranging acclaim serve as unquestionable proof that he and his band will be capturing and retaining the attention of many more in the coming years.
This Into It. Over It. article was written by Simon Carline, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.