by Matt Kelchner
The doors to Union Transfer typically do not open as early as they did on Saturday night, but things were different when Into It. Over It. brought their headlining tour to Philadelphia for a night filled some of the best acts in the punk scene. In total, five bands played Saturday night and not a single disappointed.
Joining Into It. Over It. on the full length of the tour are The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die and A Great Big Pile Of Leaves. On top of that, two fantastic local bands, Glocca Morra and Hurry, were added as openers. As Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. mentioned previously in an interview with That Mag, he handpicked the opening bands for much of the tour. His choices for Saturday night turned out to make the show one of the best so far in 2014.
First up for the night was Hurry, a side project led by Matt from Everyone Everywhere. Over the past few months, Hurry has been making a name for themselves around the local scene in Philadelphia with their mix of fuzzed out, noisy a la Dinosaur Jr with fast paced pop punk. With the room nearly full during their set, Saturday night marked the largest show to date for Hurry. Their short yet impressive set, along with singer/guitarist Matt Scottoline’s side commentary and jokes left the crowd eager for more.
The second of the two local bands, Glocca Morra, went on stage following Hurry. Their straight forward and high energy sound stirred up the crowd from start to finish. Fans pushed and shoved to get as close as they could to the stage while singing every word. Glocca Morra powered through their set, playing song after song and leaving little time for any interactions with the crowd below. Despite that, the level of energy flowed between band and crowd leaving both sweaty by the end of their set.
Splitting the middle of the bill was A Great Big Pile Of Leaves. The energy built up during Glocca Morra’s set carried over and the crowd showed no signs of slowing down. A Great Big Pile Of Leaves played hits from both You’re Always On My Mind and Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex. Hits like “Pet Mouse”, “Alligator Bop” and “Snack Attack” had the crowd singing just as loud as the Brooklyn four piece. The way that A Great Big Pile Of Leaves controlled the crowd with their well rehearsed, near flawless set demonstrated a band ready to push things to the next level.
The combined number of band members from the first three acts was nearly equal to that of The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. The large, post-rock meets emo/punk band easily filled the stage at Union Transfer. While Glocca Morra and A Great Big Pile Of Leaves gave the crowd a high intensity and energetic set, The World Is… quieted things down with their moving, dynamic songs. Each song was densely and beautifully layered, building up to big musical breaks. Each band fit perfectly into the full sonic picture of each song. As these walls of sound were built, crowd energy rose. Once things hit a bursting point and worked their way back down to more somber points, the crowd fell silent. With this kind of change of pace, The World Is… gave the audience a taste of something slightly different. As their set finished and the crowd was in awe, the long process of breaking down such an elaborate band’s gear began.
For Evan Weiss, the man behind Into It. Over It., the Philadelphia shows always feel like the homecoming shows despite currently living in Chicago. Weiss, as he explained in one of his many stories to the crowd, grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He has been a big fan of R5 Productions for many years. He then went into the tale behind how his first band, The Progress, was able to open for The Appleseed Cast years ago after mailing a demo CD and handwritten letter. The reason he brought this up was to show his love for a promotion company who has supported him, his band and scene for so many after. He then dedicated “Write It Right” to R5 Production before diving headfirst back into his set.
While the tour was meant to support their latest release, Intersections, Weiss and company pulled from his deep catalog of songs, playing many crowd favorites. Joining the band on keyboards was Matt Fazzi of A Great Big Pile Of Leaves. Throughout the set, Weiss took many opportunities to share with the crowd the stories behind his lyrics. At one point he stopped the show to talk to a happily married couple only to explain that the next song was for everyone else who wasn’t married. At another, he described how the tune was about his fat cat back at home. Sharing these moments with the crowd brought them that much closer.
One thing that was clear from the very beginning of the first song played was the positive energy and enthusiasm within the band. The overwhelming amount of joy and happiness displayed by every member of Into It. Over It. made it clear that the Philadelphia show was one of their favorite. It holds a special meaning for Weiss every time he comes to the city he formerly called home.
Early on in the set Weiss explained to the crowd how the two previous stops, New York and Boston, were the best two shows from the tour. He then challenged the crowd Saturday night to make it even better. By the end of the night it was clear that the crowd and Into It. Over It. had succeeded.