Written by Killian O’Neil
Anyone who grew up in the Philly area and listens to pop-punk knows who The Starting Line is. They are one of the building blocks of the Philadelphia pop-punk scene as far as I’m concerned. The Starting Line has been around for well over two decades and still brings the same energy as when they were just starting out.
This past week I had the pleasure of being able to catch one of their live streams. On January 29th, they took to the cameras for the last installment of the live stream with a “Best Of” live stream, which featured some of the band’s best and favorite songs.
I was forgetting what it was like to hear music live (well, as live as I was going to get right now) and was somewhat skeptical of this whole live-streaming business these days, but boy was I wrong. I was eagerly sitting on my couch ripping a bong when the music started to blast through the speakers.
The Starting Line decided to turn it up to 100 right out of the gate and play the track, “Up And Go,” which immediately made me want to be in a sea of a hundred sweaty people around me who were all belting lyrics at the top of their lungs. The energy that the band was projecting made me, and I’m sure every other The Starting Line fan, felt like we were in the early 2000’s back at a show at The Electric Factory.
For anyone who doesn’t know that song, it is a lively and danceable treat for the ears and soul. If you don’t know the lyrics, you will wind up belting them out anyway. It was only a matter of seconds before I noticed myself tapping my foot and thrashing my head as if I was pressed against the barricades. There is something to be said about the energy of this band and how it is evident in their performances. If it’s one thing I know about life, it’s that you cannot fake chemistry in anything, and especially with music. Watching this live stream, I’ll tell you something, and that is that they still have it all these years later.
Before the music, there was a Q&A with the band touching on how all of this came together and their thoughts on it. I was blown away when I heard Mike Golla (guitar/vocals) say that “Twelve to fifteen of those songs we haven’t played since we recorded them.” The next thing you know, it just cuts to The Starting Line in front of a camera jamming like it was the mid-2000’s.
For a band to pick up and basically relearn every song they have ever put out, is extremely impressive and almost unheard of. According to Kenny Vasoli (vocals/guitar), This live stream, in particular, was all of the “deep cuts” that we miss and love from The Starting Line. The majority of the setlist seemed to be split up between Say It Like You Mean It and Anyways and a few other fan favorites sprinkled in.
You know when you’re at a show and the singer just stops and goes on a rant about something? It’s the single best thing because at that moment you’re reminded they are exactly like you. Right, it’s awesome. With that being said, this little rant made my night.
“This next song went gold and that just happened within the past couple of months and this is my first gold record ever and we really appreciate that. I mean it’s fucked up like twenty years into our career getting that, it’s like fucked up. So deep gratitude and thanks,” is what Kenny had to say about, “The Best of Me,” which is what they closed out the live stream with. It is an all-time favorite to the masses.
I have found that there is a correlation with artists that don’t sugarcoat shit during shows when they perform. They are the ones that are still around twenty years later playing their hearts out because speaking their truth is their passion. Shortly after that song ended he continued on with talking about how they have never done an encore in the last ten years and how he’d like this to be called a “non-core” which had “Classic Jazz,” “Surprise, Surprise” and “Island.”
I will be honest with you here, I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to watching The Starting Line as a live stream. The entire concept of watching someone play live music via the Internet alluded to me until the other night, but my mind has been changed. The only thing to make that night even better (considering the obvious) was hitting the merch table before leaving the show. A girl can dream, but I can only hope that we get blessed with another live stream or new music in the not-so-distant feature.
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