I have a new love: Innerpartysytem.
A few weeks ago when I was at the Sterling Hotel in Allentown, Aaron from A Utopian Skyline (www.myspace.com/autopianskyline) was raving about Innerpartysytem. Geoff from Ajar (www.myspace.com/ajarrocks) came over and said, "Are you talking about Innerpartysystem?" They both went on and on about how awesome the band was. Usually when musicians talk about other bands, I listen. I checked them out the next day, and I decided right away that they were worth of all the praise. Then I found out that A Utopian Skyline was playing with them at the Chameleon Club! It was a Thursday night, which is tough for an office person like myself, but I had to find a way to swing it.
I got to the Chameleon Club just in time to see A Utopian Skyline finishing their sound check and start a few minutes early so that they could play a slightly longer set. They're so considerate of their fans, who probably drove a long distance to see them. They played a short but energetic set on the smallest stage space ever. The Chameleon Club's stage is huge, but most of it was taken up by Ashes Divide's drum riser. It's tough for A Utopian Skyline to play in such a small space, because their music requires a lot of movement. They pulled off a stellar set and even threw in a new song at the end, which was quite heavy. Nice!
Then Innerpartysystem started setting up. I was sort of surprised to see the guys setting up their own stuff. I had imagined they would be hanging out backstage while roadies did all the work. Perhaps they weren't as big (famous) as I thought they were? Anyway, as they brought in nearly a million synths and even brought in a couple of spotlights, I grew even more excited. I had been waiting for this show all week, trying not to get over-excited and build up my expectations. I was afraid that Innerpartysytem wouldn't live up to my expectations, but wow, did they ever!! I was so glad that I had arrived early enough to get a good spot right in front of the stage. I danced along like a crazy person and didn't care what I looked like. They are amazing and insane live! Everything I wanted them to be, and more. I was blown away. After they played, I found Aaron and thanked him for raving so much about them. The guys came back to their merch booth and hung out with their fans for a while. They were so relaxed and approachable. I got to meet Jared, the drummer, and he was really excited to be playing shows so close to home. He convinced me to attend their show at The Works in Reading on Saturday. Okay, it didn't take much to convince me.
Ashes Divide was...okay. I was still reeling from IPS's set, so it took me half of their set for me to start to get into it. To their credit, they played a solid set to a very appreciative crowd. By the end, I was really digging their vibe (sorry to get all 70s on you there, but it happens). They played a cover of Fleetwood Mac's Chains, which was very powerful, and they played their single The Stone last, which was the song that everyone had been waiting for. They, too, hung out with their fans after they played. Overall it was a great night and I'm really glad that I was there to experience it.
I have to admit that I talked nonstop about IPS to my sister until she agreed to go to the Reading show with me on Saturday. We got there a bit late, and we thought that the opening band (Smooth Like Clyde) had already finished playing. We fought our way through the crowd to the bar for some water. For some reason, it wasn't crowded at the bar and I got drinks right away. The bartender did some tricks, like tossing glasses around, and I almost felt like saying, "You don't have to do all that, I only asked for water." ha ha! We took our water and squeezed our way closer to the stage. We found a good spot, but we were having trouble breathing. Then we found out that Smooth Like Clyde was about to play their second set of the night, and IPS would play later. We decided to go downstairs for some air, which turned out to be a good decision, because I thought Smooth Like Clyde was pretty terrible. Now, I don't usually say things like that publicly. To the hundreds of people upstairs drinking and having a great time, they probably sounded awesome, but to the two most sober girls in the room, it just wasn't working.
Fast forward a little bit because I have things to do and must end this blog soon. IPS took the stage amidst lots of smoke and lights. And the crowd went wild! I love seeing hometown shows. As Jared had promised, they played a longer set and had more lights than at the Chameleon Club. It was insane! My sister fell in love with them instantly. Somehow, we had lucked into a great spot to watch the band. It was kind of far from the stage, but it was up higher so we could see them really well. I love to see a crowd really get into a band's performance, and this was a great spot for seeing everything. It was an amazing night.