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Motion City Soundtrack at the Roseland Ballroom NYC 11/9/2007

By on Dec 3, 2007 in Music

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Motion City Soundtrack is the first band that my sister introduced me to. This fact makes me simultaneously sad and proud.

Truthfully, the first time I heard Motion City, I was going through my sister’s iTunes copying songs onto my computer. Her AIM away message has sported Motion City lyrics a few times so I took a listen to The Future Freaks Me Out. I have come to deeply adore that song but at the time I thought it was kind of wierd and hipster – probably because I skipped through it too quickly. Eventually (I’m not sure when), I came around and became addicted. So when I found out Motion City was coming to town I was stoked. Recently, on a long drive with my cousin, he played me Anberlin and Mae. Both bands made it on my list of bands to check out so I was doubly stoked to see them opening for Motion City.

Prior to the show I went out and bought all the bands’ new albums. Motion City’s was, of course, awesome. Aberlin and Mae got a few good listens with no complaints.

We arrived at the show – Roseland shows start so damn early – around 7:30. Just in time to see Anberlin play. There was a lot of the singer standing with one foot on an amp and screaming about how “this show is for YOU.” The songs were filled with excessive and unnecessary keyboards. I was less than impressed.

Next up was Mae – I was hoping for the best. In a review I read, Mae’s set was described as one 30 minute long song. That’s about right.

Finally (after taking a bit of their sweet rockstar time), Motion City took the stage. After the angering experience of the Lawrence Arms show, I am almost at a loss for words in describing Motion City Soundtrack’s set. It was amazing. It gave me hope. It made me nostalgic. All at once.

The minute the band hit the stage that intangible it was there. Everyone in the band was into it – I thought the keyboardist might do some serious brain damage he was head banging so hard. Each member was sining along to themselves and all seemed to be having a genuinely good time. Even better, the minute the band hit the stage the crowd brought it. You could feel the collective energy starting with the first note of the first song. I thought: This is a punk rock show. I don’t care how un-punk rock you think Motion City Soundtrack is; this show is what punk rock is about.

Up front, the jersey & long island kids got going the typical east coast circle pit. Justin (the lead singer) was quick to ask all those running around to turn around and give each other ‘a big hug.’ He told the crowd that they can rock out and dance but ‘no [making elbowing motion].’ About 60 seconds into the next song, he stops. Some crowd-surfer had gone down and Justin was distraught: ‘Is everyone ok? I saw a big hole … ok, sorry, just wanted to be sure.’ I thought: I love you. I take comfort in knowing that somewhere, somehow the punk rock ethics and etiquette that so effected my life are alive and well …

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