Bayside (acoustic) – Tickets – World Cafe Live – Wilmington – Wilmington, DE – December 20th, 2016

Bayside (acoustic)

Bayside (acoustic)

Hawthorne Heights

Tue · December 20, 2016

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

World Cafe Live - Wilmington

$21 ADV - $26 DOS + Fees

This event is all ages

Balcony tickets are subject to a premium service fee that will be applied at checkout.

Bayside (acoustic)
Bayside (acoustic)
Bayside fans don’t call their relationship with the band a “Cult” for nothing. After a string of much-adored releases, Bayside has one of the most dedicated fan bases in rock, and the group steadfastly rewards those devotees with the musical salvation they seek. Six albums and more than a decade later, Bayside has never lost touch with that mission and, in fact, they’ve only grown bigger. While veteran bands take breaks and regroup, Bayside haven’t taken that route and instead, soldiered on, building up and growing more and more into themselves… to the point in which they are the most “Bayside” that they have ever been. The fact that their audience has grown is testament to that.

Now continuing that legacy is the band’s latest creation, an explosive 11-track collection that captures Bayside in prime form, combining classic elements from throughout their career. Guaranteed to rock the faithful, the new release is appropriately entitled Cult.

“When we were done with the record we were like, ‘This is every Bayside record,’” explains singer/guitarist Anthony Raneri. “It has the honesty and rawness that we’ve had since Sirens And Condolences, and those risks: those weird key and time signature changes, and the different styles of music we explore. The Bayside ‘Cult’ is something our fans have been talking about for a long time, and it seemed like a good name for a greatest hits album, which is kind of what this is: a Bayside discography. On the cover, there are even little symbols to signify each album.”

That’s a lot of history for an album cover. The band—which also includes lead guitarist Jack O’Shea, bassist Nick Ghanbarianand drummer Chris Guglielmo—formed in the winter of 2000 in Queens, NY, undergoing numerous lineup changes in the early years. At first through Raneri’s sheer persistence and dedication Bayside progressed, eventually cutting two embryonic EPs with Dying Wish Records. Those efforts bore fruit, leading to a contract with Victory Records in 2003, resulting in the band’s 2004 full-length debut, Sirens & Condolences. But it was just the beginning, and the group released three more quintessential LPs with Victory, cementing their place as one of the most important bands in the modern underground music scene—Self-Titled (2005), The Walking Wounded (2007) and Shudder (2008)—then briefly moved on to Wind-Up Records in 2010 for Killing Time (2011), their most widely visible album to date. After that record cycle Bayside opened another exciting new chapter in their career, signing with punk powerhouse Hopeless Records in 2013. Cult marks the band’s first Hopeless release.

For latest effort Cult, Bayside spent roughly two years writing new material, then returned to producer Shep Goodman (who’d previously helmed two of Bayside’s most beloved releases, Self-Titled and Walking Wounded), as well as Goodman’s production partner, Aaron Accetta. Raneri says Goodman was a catalyst for the band’s obvious progression from debut Sirens to sophomore album Self-Titled, and this latest collaboration sought to rekindle that spark.

“Shep was very instrumental in teaching me about songwriting. He taught me a lot about drawing a listener in and getting inside the mind of the listener, and not just sitting down with a guitar and playing whatever comes to mind,” says Raneri. “He’s sort of my mentor as far as songwriting goes. I loved working with Gil Norton on the last record [Killing Time]—he’s a legend, and it was an amazing process—but with this record, I really wanted to get back and hone in, try to get better at my songwriting again. I knew that working with Shep has always done that for me.”

Sonically, Cult is perhaps the band’s most confident and resonant work to date, featuring turbocharged rhythms and the consistently blistering guitar work of six-string whiz O’Shea. But as much as the album is a return to the band’s musical sweet spot, on the other hand Cult’s lyrical content breaks new thematic ground, showcasing Raneri’s ongoing personal growth as both the man and the songwriter. Instead of dwelling on past romantic failings, this time the lyricist points his pen at the hard matters of life and death, having recently lost his grandfather, stepfather and stepbrother.

“[Cult] is pretty different because it’s not about broken relationships as much as other records; on a personal level, my relationship has been great, my marriage is good and I’ve started a family. Instead a lot of this record deals with mortality, without it being morbid,” says Raneri. “I lost a lot of people who were close to me, and it really just started making me think a lot about what my legacy was going to be. What am I going to leave behind and what is my entire generation going to leave behind? What are they going to be saying at funerals 40 years from now? It’s wondering if life is about leaving a legacy. Is that what we’re all here for: living a life worth remembering?”

Raneri channels these universal existential questions into personal inspiration on tracks like first single “Time Has Come,” which finds the singer challenging himself to rise to the occasion over intricately interwoven guitar lines. “It’s meant to be more of an uplifting thing,” says Raneri. “If I want to make something of myself, build a legacy, accomplish something, then I’ve got to just go do it. The time is now to do something if you ever plan on it.”

Other tracks like “Stuttering” and “Bear With Me” put the music business under the microscope, as well as Bayside’s place within it. “[“Bear”] has a lot to do with my career and my legacy as a musician. You look at bands like mine, and it’s hard to ignore that a lot of pop-punk or mid-2000s emo bands just sort of disappeared,” says Raneri, who’s instead had the good fortune of seeing Bayside’s popularity continually grow. “Fortunately for us our band has been able to make it through a lot of that. There are definitely days when I feel like I’m a novelty, but like the line in the song, I think I’m twice the man I used to be.”

Even when Raneri does return to issues of the heart, he does so with a newfound perspective. A prime example is the song “Transitive Property,” which Raneri wrote during Warped Tour 2012 for his girlfriend—now his wife—as a heartfelt apology, as the couple was on the verge of a breakup. Although never intended for public ears, when bandmates heard the song they insisted it be included on the new album.

“That’s the most personal song I’ve ever written. It’s like sharing a letter to the world; sharing my actual diary that I didn’t think anybody would see,” Raneri says. “I always write a song with the intention of sharing it, but that lyrically was the first song I wrote that was so personal because I thought nobody would ever hear it. I think it’s a great song; one of the best songs I ever wrote.”

Bayside has already toured the world many times over, sharing stages with a virtual “who’s who” of like-minded artists and enjoying regular main-stage spots at major festivals like Warped Tour, but the band’s plans for the coming year are no less ambitious. After Cult drops in February, Bayside will head out on a U.S. headlining tour, then travel to Europe with Alkaline Trio in the spring. From there Bayside will likely play still more high-profile North American dates during the summer of 2014.

“I’m excited about the tour, because it’s sort of a combination of underplayed and big shows,” says Raneri. “We’re in certain cities playing bigger venues than we’ve ever played, and in some cities we’re playing in smaller venues.”

Now six full-lengths into their career, making the setlist each night gets tougher than ever. Raneri says the band is cautious of including too much new material live, for risking of disappointing fans awaiting the classics, but once listeners have Cult in their hands it’ll be easier to gauge which new tracks to perform. Inevitably though, Cult will stand up well next to past material. If there’s one thing immediately clear, it’s that Cult is as classic Bayside as it comes.

“We don’t play anything we don’t want, but at the same time, we listen to our fans, and we know what makes Bayside, Bayside. We try to grab all those things that we all love about Bayside and try to do more of them,” says Raneri. “People’s lives change. You go from high school to college to adulthood to parenthood, and everything in your life changes, except there’s always going to be a new Bayside record, and you can always go home.”
Hawthorne Heights
Remember when today's middle-aged working stiffs were once young Generation X-types who were wearing ironic T-shirts reading "FREAK" or "LOSER," words that mirrored their grunge-centric ennui? Then there was one band who made that pervading nihilism even more stylish by rocking black shirts with the word "zero" in silver glitter. But while the z-word has the capacity to taint test scores, bank balances and attempts at self-actualization in ways no other common integer can, it does represent more positive ideals. Consider the terminology used by project managers to herald the beginning of a big project: Year Zero. What's the numerical equivalent used when someone uses the metaphor of "hitting the reset button" on their lives and/or careers? That's right: zero.

For the members of Hawthorne Heights, the word (or number) isn't the providence of losers, nor a bastion of stylish disconnection. Zero, the fifth album from the Dayton, Ohio, outfit, represents a positively incandescent future. Now aligning themselves with Red River Entertainment, Hawthorne Heights—singer/guitarist JT Woodruff, guitarists Micah Carli and Mark McMillion, bassist Matt Ridenour and drummer Eron Bucciarelli—are rising above their post-hardcore roots in ambitious measures. Overseen by producer Brian Virtue, Zero marks a wider breadth of the band's capacity to create compelling work, regardless of the social implications found in certain music subcultures. (Translation: Team HH tossed the punk-rock rulebook into a wood chipper.)

"When people hear Zero, they're going to be hearing a new band," Eron Bucciarelli beams. "What we're trying to accomplish is to reinvent ourselves and not be so attached to our history. I think there are elements of Zero that pay homage to Hawthorne Heights' past, that we should by no means attempt to ignore. To a certain degree, we are the same people that wrote The Silence In Black And White. We're just older now."

While many of the participants in America's post-hardcore sweepstakes have toiled in the underground with a mere modicum of success (if any), Hawthorne Heights achieved much in their 12-year existence. Since their inception in 2001, the band made heads swivel with their brand of melodic post-hardcore heightened by the interplay between frontman Woodruff's "clean vocal" and the late rhythm guitarist Casey Calvert's screaming. Their 2004 debut, The Silence In Black And White was not only a benchmark for the band (the release was certified gold-status), but also for the attendant "screamo" aesthetic both critics and fans credit the group with bringing into the forefront. 2006's If Only You Were Lonely repeated gold-selling success for the band, further establishing them as a dynamic live act.

"I think for a lot of people, Hawthorne Heights were that bridge band that got people into more commercial acts like Green Day and Blink-182 to transition into more underground music," Bucciarelli opines. "For one reason or another, we were people's first introduction to screaming in music. So for better or worse, that's one of the main things people think about our band. Maybe our contribution to the larger canon of underground rock is to be a segue into that underground world."

After the untimely passing of Calvert in 2007, Hawthorne Heights carried on as a quartet, issuing two more full-length albums, Fragile Future (2008) and Skeletons (2010). But after extricating themselves from their last label deal, the band returned to the roll-up-your-sleeves, DIY aesthetic that got them on the post-hardcore radar all those years ago, recording, distributing and marketing two EPs Hate and Hope. "When we made those EPs," Bucciarelli begins, "we had a chip on our shoulder. But all the while that we were angry, we still had a lot of confidence in ourselves and our ability to make music our fans wanted to hear. We were definitely a lot more optimistic for the future."

In addition to marking a significant growth in the band's artistry, Zero also represents the culmination of how Hawthorne Heights conduct themselves as a unit. Knowing full well that today's bands are businesses through and through, each member was assigned a certain aspect of the band's affairs, from recording and mixing, booking tours, merchandising and promotion. After playing with the band live for three years, longtime friend of the band Mark McMillion would become an official member. ("It made sense to have him with us," figures Bucciarelli. "He's a great guitarist, he can sing, and it's nice to have another set of ears in the studio.") The band decided that the follow-up release to their two EPs would be conceptual, with a story arc. "We wanted to make a grand album, something we've never done in our entire career," says the drummer. "We focused on what songs would work toward supporting the story line, as opposed to front-loading the album with all the 'best' songs first. At first, there was some hesitation in the studio. 'This is kinda weird.' 'Is this possible?' We all came together and assured ourselves that we just had to commit to it in order to make it happen."

The backdrop of Zero takes place in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future where a totalitarian government (the Coalition Of Alternate Living Methods, aka CALM) systematically drugs the populace in order to keep them docile. The central protagonist awakes one morning to find his whole life completely decimated, as if he was dropped into the middle of a desolate vista of scorched earth and wasteland. The hero has to battle the government—as well as the constant barrage of memories that haunt him—in order to find answers. While the song-cycle format is an interesting departure for Hawthorne Heights, the songs are still vibrant, even when dissected from the greater concept. Tracks like "Memories Of Misery," "Darkside," "Golden Parachutes" and "Anywhere But Here," contain equal measures of pop sensibility, as well as lyrical heft. But there are also touching and unnerving moments at play: The acoustic melancholy of "Hollow Hearts Unite" is a mix of altruist sentiment and helplessness colliding. The title track sports Woodruff's wounded vocal and a guitar solo that wouldn't sound out of place on a David Gilmour album. "Lost In The Calm" is a deathbed spectator trying to cope, set to a rapid beat that mirrors the song's urgency. When you consider the current controversy surrounding the activities of corporations intersecting with government (stick "Monsanto" or "fracking" in your search engine of choice and see what happens) futures, Zero doesn't sound like contrived fiction. In his role as both recording artist and doting father, Bucciarelli genuinely worries about these constructs.

"Some of the themes [found on Zero] factor into my daily thought processes of things, moments like, 'Should I give my daughter this kind of food to eat,' and on top of that thinking, 'What can we do to stop this from happening?' it's kind of scary to most people, and that's why a lot of these ideas have been branded as conspiracy theory—nobody wants to acknowledge it in a hear-no-evil, see-no-evil kind of thing. If some listeners associate some of the themes from this record to real-life situations and it opens their minds up, I think that's definitely a good thing."

It's also a good thing that Hawthorne Heights are still out there. As one of the founding names in the foundation of post-hardcore/contemporary punk, the quintet are reinvigorated and ready to go where their new vision will take them, from the stage of this year's Warped Tour to the rest of the world. It might sound like a self-deprecating quip, but the truth has a much greater resonance: The sum total of Hawthorne Heights' parts equals Zero. And it's far more valuable than mindless slacker nostalgia.
Venue Information:
World Cafe Live - Wilmington
500 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE, 19801
http://queen.worldcafelive.com/