Concert Review: Fusion Shows Presents The Reptilian, Braided Veins, A Great Big Pile of Leaves, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, and Into It. Over It.

February 28, 2014: The Pike Room, Pontiac, Michigan

The only thing I wanted to do after a long, stressful week at work and a night of basically no sleep was crawl into bed and sleep until Monday morning. The only thing keeping me going was getting to see Into It. Over It. at the Pike Room. I was lucky enough to catch Evan Weiss open up for Saves the Day back in September and loved the set. Intersections was released a week later and I knew that I had to see him the next time he was in town. When the tour was announced and I saw that he’d be touring with A Great Big Pile of Leaves, there was no question that I had to get tickets.

The venue was already half way filled by the time we got there just after doors officially opened. I hadn’t been to a sold out show at the Pike Room before and was worried that we would be packed like sardines thus ruining the intimate setting that the venue offers. Thankfully that wasn’t the case and we had plenty of personal space.

The first band to take the stage was The Reptilian, a post-punk band out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. They kicked the show off with a high energy set that was just what I needed after the week I’d had. I’m not typically a fan of the screamo genre, but The Reptilian’s music is the perfect blend of screamo, punk, and emo to keep me coming back for more. The third song of their set was what hooked me. “Ryan” starts off nice and mellow with clean guitars and drums. The song builds, becoming more and more chaotic until its finish. I can tell you that my stress had all but melted away by the end of their set.

Flint based band, Braided Veins, took the stage next, thankfully continuing the non-stop energy. The band is composed of members of other Michigan based bands: The Swellers, Empty Orchestra, Kid Brother Collective, and The Conqueror Worm. I was kind of happy not to be aware of this until after hearing them because I went into the experience with no expectations. Their sound is harder than a lot of the stuff I usually listen to but seeing them live definitely helped me appreciate them more. Lead singer Stephen Wisniecki kept the crowd’s energy high, occasionally jumping off the stage to rally the troops. My personal favorite song was the closer of their set, “To Whomever Finds This Document”. A thrash worthy track perfect to close their set and make you remember that they were here.

Although the previous two bands had kept me going, I had begun to hit the wall after Braided Veins left the stage. Thankfully A Great Big Pile of Leaves was next and coming out to see them instead of crawling into bed had definitely paid off. They sound just as polished live as they do on their albums. Their overall sound is very fun, making for a great live experience especially in such an intimate setting. They opened their set with “Snack Attack” which instantly got my energy back up. The set was packed with so many of my favorite songs and I already can’t wait for these guys to come back into town. You can check out A Great Big Pile of Leaves over on their Bandcamp page.

The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die took the stage next and I was interested to see what they would be like live. I checked them out for the first time a few weeks ago and immediately snatched up everything I could on their Bandcamp page. Their set was definitely the most laid back of the night which would have been a problem considering how tired I was, but the music was too great to snooze through. This is a band that is on the forefront of the Emo Revival and a great of example of why the genre shouldn’t be panned. If the musical talent doesn’t convince you that these guys are someone to keep your eye on, the passionate lyrics sure will. Definitely a band to catch live if you get a chance to.

Thankfully Into It. Over It. left no time for the exhaustion to kick in, taking the stage as TWIABP launching right into “Anchor”. Listening to Into It. Over It. perform live makes it easy to see why just about every show on this tour sold out. Weiss is genuine when it comes to talking with fans and that carries over to his music. The energy created by the previous bands bubbled over during the first couple of songs, the small venue buzzing with excitement at getting to hear the band perform. It probably helped that Weiss continually discussed how much he enjoyed playing in Michigan and seemed to play a lot of the crowd’s favorite songs. The set was packed with nearly 20 songs including old and new favorites. Matt Fazzi of A Great Big Pile of Leaves, came out to join the band for a few songs and Weiss’s girlfriend even joined in.

The bands played flawlessly and I didn’t regret going out one bit. It was great getting to experience these bands live and it was great to experience some great new to me local bands along with groups that I’ve been following for a few years now.

Support the Bands
The Reptilian: Pick up their latest LP, Low Health, over on Bandcamp
Braided Veins: Debut EP, Future/Forever, is available on Bandcamp
A Great Big Pile of Leaves: You’re Always on My Mind, Have You Seen My Prefrontal Cortex?, BOOM!, and Live from the Living Room are all available on the band’s Bandcamp page
The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die: Whenever, If Ever can be picked up over at Top Shelf Records, you can check out the rest of their EPs over on their Bandcamp page
Into It. Over It.: Intersections is available on Triple Crown Records