by Matt Kelchner
Earlier, at the beginning of this month, Tigers Jaw released their latest album, Charmer. Out via Run for Cover Records, it marked the last release that three out of the five members would appear on. After initially exiting the band back in March 2013, the parting members agreed to come back to finish the album they began writing. However moving forward Tigers Jaw would be just the remaining two members, Brianna Collins and Ben Walsh.
With a revamped live lineup, Ben and Brianna traveled out from Scranton, PA to Union Transfer for a special show commencing not only the release of Charmer, but to also kick off their nationwide, multi-week tour. Fans poured into the venue to join in on the fun. Openers for the night included fellow Scranton natives Petal (whom both Ben and Brianna played in), Detroit’s Loose Planes and up-and-comers Pity Sex. This sweaty, hot mess of a night proved to concertgoers that this new chapter of Tigers Jaw is picking up right where the last one left off.
The main room in Union Transfer was seemingly filled from the minute the first band, Loose Planes, went on. Both them and Petal played short but sweet sets. While there were mistakes heard here and there, both warmed up the crowd for the night ahead of them. For each band, Monday night was easily one of the biggest shows they had ever played, yet they showed that ocean of fans below them that they were ready to take them head on.
Following Petal, fellow Run for Cover signees Pity Sex took to the stage. One of the first things muttered by the band was that Monday night was the largest crowd that they had played for as well. They powered through an impressive set that shifted from first gear to full throttle at will. Their songs ranged from sludgey and fuzzy to fast-paced, upbeat pop punk. Mid way through their set, Pity Sex told a short tale about a previous journey they took, across state line and through the snow just to see Tigers Jaw played and how honored they are to now share the stage with them. Tunes like “Wind-up” and “Coca Cola” got the crowd moving and stage diving. Once they got off stage, the crowd knew it was only a matter of time before Tigers Jaw would take to the stage.
From the first few notes of “The Sun” to the last from their encore, the crowd gave it their all for Tigers Jaw. Countless numbers flipped and flopped, pushed and shoved, to get as close as they possibly could. And Tigers Jaw gave them every reason to want to do so. On Monday night they played a massive 18 song set filled with classics and new hits. Seven out of the twelve songs from Charmer made their way onto the setlist, including “Hum”, “Slow Come On” and the set finisher “Distress Signal”. They also managed six songs from their self titled release, which included favorites like “I Saw Water” and “Plane Vs. Tank vs. Submarine”. For almost every song, the crowd sang along so loud that neither Brianna nor Ben had to sing, and a few times they allowed the crowd to do so as they played.
Their career spanning set showed that this new rebirth of Tigers Jaw were not afraid to visit former hits. The crowd let it be known that they were in full support of the band and their newest release as well. Monday night showed that Tigers Jaw are not slowing down or taking things easy, but rather gearing up to take themselves to the next level. It was a night to remember and one that left fans something to talk about for days to come. For anyone in any other city that is on the fence about going to the show let this be proof that you should, just be prepared to get a little sweaty.