Concert Review: So Long, Farewell Tour Part I featuring Baggage, Let It Happen, and Have Mercy

June 5, 2016: The Fillmore, Detroit

The air that filled the Fillmore a few nights ago was filled with anticipation and a fair bit of sadness. I myself was filled with mixed emotions as the night began but we’ll save that for part II of this review. For now, let’s focus on the kick ass openers that started the show out right.

First up was Flint, Michigan’s own Baggage, the new project from former Swellers’ drummer, Jonathan Diener. While the crowd seemed pretty pumped to see Baggage perform it was nothing compare to the sheer joy that the foursome displayed throughout their opening set. When they weren’t rocking the faces off everyone in the crowd with their 90’s alt tinged brand of emo rock. The foursome focused mostly on tracks off their latest EP, Cheaper Than Therapy, including the brutally honest “Flint” and the Weezer-esque “Cheaper Than Therapy.” The guys put on a great set and I can’t wait to take some time to give their EP a proper spin.

Up next was Ohio’s pop punk quartet Let It Happen. The guys’ sound reminded me a lot of early Motion City Soundtrack which made them a perfect opener for the So Long, Farewell Tour. Like Baggage, Let It Happen was pretty excited to be playing for the packed Fillmore that night and honored that they were getting to open up for MCS on their farewell tour. The guys of Let It Happen put on a show that has just as much energy as their pop punk infused tracks.

Last but certainly not least was Baltimore’s Have Mercy who wasted no time and jumped right into their set. I’m unsure of how I have been mostly unaware of these guys up until this point. Lead singer, Brian Swindle’s emotive howl is an odd mix of Andy Hull (Manchester Orchestra) and Justin Furstenfeld’s (Blue October) vocals helping to add to Have Mercy’s brand of rock stand out among the crowd. It was easy to get swept up in their set and forget for just a little bit about the reason I had bought my ticket in the first place. The guys kept things light, telling jokes and making the crowd genuinely fall in love with them.

I’m not sure Motion City Soundtrack could have had better bands open up their last Detroit show for them. All three were full of energy and had nothing but kind words to say about their time listening to and spent with MCS as they toured. I may have had to say goodbye to one of my all time favorite bands but at least I picked up three new bands to distract myself with while I hold out hope that I’ll get to see MCS play again one day.

Stay tuned for part II of my So Long, Farewell Tour review.