Standing behind the crowd and walking around dressed in casual t-shirts. The boys that make up pop-punk band Modern Baseball look and act like they fit in as fans, not as if they are about to headline a show for almost 1,500 people. But once these seemingly normal guys hit the stage, their inner rock star shines, blowing everyone away.
The line outside to enter The Fillmore reached to the next intersection even after doors had been opened for 30 minutes. Needless to say, everyone’s excitement had the room filled by the time 7:30pm rolled around, which set the stage for Philly locals Thin Lips to take the stage.
It was a special moment in the middle of the set when lead singer, Chrissy Tashjian, dedicated a song to the Orlando shootings exclaiming, “Here’s to the homos.” She moved the room as she belted the song out beautifully. Although Tashjian talked about her nerves, she and the whole band owned the stage.
For the rest of the night, the band was just regular people, walking around, grabbing something to drink, and joining the crowd to listen to some awesome bands.
Without much of a wait for turnover, Joyce Manor walked on stage to fans who had been screaming since they finished their soundcheck. In the words of my brother, “This crowd is bananas.” And he was absolutely correct. The singing was louder, the jumping was higher, hands were in the air for the whole set, and the energy was at an all time maximum.
Then came the dreaded 30 minute wait for Modern Baseball to hit the stage. While waiting, I noticed the shelves of toys towards the left of the stage, the flamingo statues in front of the drum set, and a lone ghost. I laughed at how fitting all of these objects were, matching the personalities of Modern Baseball and the new album. It was almost 9:30pm when Brendan Lukens and Cameron Boucher, lead singer of Sorority Noise, appeared in the corner of the stage to take a photo in front of the toys and ghost. After they walked off stage, the room went dark.
Moments later a recording of “Holy Ghost” began, and voices filled the giant room of the Fillmore. With some technical difficulties the recording skipped, but all of the MOBO fans helped out and continued to sing the correct part.
Earlier that day, Modern Baseball tweeted they would be playing a lot of songs…they were not exaggerating. The set list totaled 24 songs, from Holy Ghost, Sports, You’re Gonna Miss It All, and The Perfect Cast. The four-piece played for an entire hour without stopping for a breath.
If you have seen Modern Baseball before, the crowd felt a little different this time around. While there was still a few fans who crowd surfed or the physics defying crowd “walk” and a few mosh pits here and there, the overall feel was a lot softer than usual. Maybe because Modern Baseball is reaching an older audience now, or maybe because the new songs have not been completely memorized yet, either way it made the crowd a little more mellow.
What I love about a hometown show, is all the band’s friends always show out for support. For the last song, “Your Graduation,” Thin Lips, Joyce Manor, Cam Boucher, and a few other MOBO pals rocked out with them, grabbing instruments and microphones while dancing all over the stage. The happiness on the stage translated straight into the crowd and had everyone in the room smiling from cheek to cheek until closing time.
After a long year for Modern Baseball, you could feel the overwhelming love from family, friends, and fans at this hometown show.