As a severe weather alert had taken effect in the city and entered the serene streets of Queen Street West, Sunday night brought PA native’s Title Fight on the last leg of their tour. The Velvet Underground became home to the sold out “Winter 17” headlined by Title Fight whilst touring with friends, GIVE and Westpoint.
Sharing the same hometown as the headliners, Kingston, Pennsylvania, Westpoint took stage. I was a bit wary about what they would sound like because I had never heard of them prior to the show. I was taken back by how catchy each song was. A particular song called “Feel October” which they had recently released on their Bandcamp as a single became my favorite of the night. The ambient crunchy guitar riffs as well as the angst lyrics that felt like it held truth to everyone in the room as they banged their heads to every beat.
After a short intermission with quick equipment changes, DC hardcore punkers, Give, open the pit up with old school punk sounds with a hint of thrash metal. I think it might have been the first time most of the audience had heard of the band, including myself, but there were some dedicated fans in the audience as well. During “Godspeed” off their 2009 self titled record which happened to be a song I actually enjoyed a lot compared to the rest of the setlist, a member of the crowd began dancing. The lead singer took note of it and thanked him for his enthusiasm. I wasn’t too keen on their music but I respect the fact that they were very genuine in their music and performance. Concluding their set with a newer song, off, Electric Flower Cirrus (2014), the band thanked the crowd for the support and hurried off stage.
As every crowd member pushed themselves closer to stage and the venue became more packed, Title Fight started off the show with some oldies. The quartet began their set with a track off their debut album, Shed (2011), as the crowd surfers began to form. An interesting component of the show was the band’s ability to create flawless transitions into each song without stopping which I found commending. This also led to small amounts of relief moments between songs. The setlist showcased a variety of songs with highlighting songs off of their sophomore album, Floral Green (2012). “Head in The Ceiling Fan”, a spacey fan favorite and “Leaf”, a mosh pit starter as bassist and vocalist, Ned Russin, jumped around the mic screaming words in unison with the crowd “I feel lost! I feel boring!” The contrasting and most recent album, Hyperview (2015) had gotten lot of mixed reviews from fans. Many stated how the band had changed from their original sound and were disappointed whilst many other fans opposed and praised the band for their ability to grow and evolve in their musical journey. I would definitely support the band’s “change” as I have grown incredibly fond of it. “Mrach” which is introduced as “charm spelled backward” was amazing to hear live as both vocalists, Ned and Jamie, created an impressive dynamic as performed together. Closing the show with a highly anticipated song off Floral Green (2012), “Secret Society”, the band quickly exited stage.