On August 8th and 9th we were able to drive down to Atlanta for Wrecking Ball. Obviously I was expecting it to be a great time, but I wasn’t sure what to expect venue-wise. Split into two levels with the downstairs being Hell and the upstairs being Heaven, The Masquerade was such an enjoyable venue to be at am I’m honestly bummed that it’ll be closing because I’d like to be able to go back. The smaller outside stage was Purgatory and the larger stage was Masquerade Music Park which both always had a crowd despite the intense heat. Read on after the jump to see shots of the bands and hear about their performance over the weekend!
Photos by Nick Zimmer.
Text by Kayla Lee and Nick Zimmer.
The first band that we were able to catch on Saturday was Beach Slang. Playing the upstairs room, a.k.a Heaven, Beach Slangs set was full of stage banter, jokes, and good old punk rock jams. Stopping in the middle of “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” (the single from their upcoming album) so that James could hug fans in the front row, saying that their set was intense is an understatement. The amount of gratitude that James showed for their fans can’t be missed—he thanked the audience multiple times for knowing their lyrics and singing along. Closing with “Punk Or Lust”, James was swinging his guitar around in the air and throwing himself onto the stage. I can definitely say that Beach Slang is a band that I’ll be checking out more music from. I was so impressed by their performance, especially the turnout that they had for their set seeing as it was only the second set of the day. (KL)
Pianos Become The Teeth
Pianos Become The Teeth are one of those bands that are going to pull on your heartstrings no matter what setting you’re in, whether it’s live or on an album. From the moment they opened with “Hiding” they had the crowd hooked. The band played a healthy dose of tracks from their album Keep You that they put out earlier this year while also throwing in “I’ll Be Damned” and “I’ll Get By” from The Lack Long After. (NZ)
The Lawrence Arms
Almost ten years since their last stint in GA, the Lawrence Arms played outside on the Music Park stage. Despite the intense heat, the band seemed super energetic and had a solid live sound that proved for an enjoyable set that included “The Slowest Drink At The Saddest Bar On The Snowiest Day In The Greatest City”. (KL)
The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die
The World Is… are a band that I was lucky to see at Fest last year. I remember not actually being able to see the band members because there were so many audience members onstage singing along to “Getting Sodas.” The connection that The World Is… has with their fans is amazing. Wrecking Ball was no different– the ambient vibe mixed with deep lyrics makes it easy to get lost in the music, especially when watching them live. (KL)
I’m slightly bummed that I was unable to catch Title Fights set, but I don’t regret giving up seeing them to watch Told Slant. A band that I had never heard of before, Told Slant totally captured my attention immediately while I was walking past Purgatory. A strong three piece, they were something that I’d never seen before. Their main vocalist was also the drummer, who was standing in the center of the stage and swaying back and forth while singing and playing music. All three band members shared vocals, which added to the intimate feeling that their performance gave off. I would highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t already. (KL)
If you haven’t hopped on the Title Fight hype train yet I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. The band released on of the years best albums with Hyperview back in February and have been killing it ever since. Their set couldn’t have been any better as they played songs from The Last Thing You Forget, Shed, Floral Green, and Hyperview. Watch out as Title Fight continue to take over the world. (NZ)
I was so excited to finally be able to see Old Gray and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. Opening their set with “Wolves”, the small crowd that was watching them immediately stormed the stage, screaming the lyrics and crowd surfing. Cameron has such an intense and raw sounding voice which transfers perfectly from the record to their live performance. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had never seen them before, and now I can’t wait to see them again. (KL)
The Movie Life
While I had been able to see the various side projects turned full time bands of Vinnie Caruana and Brandon Reilly (I Am The Avalanche & Nightmare of You) this was the first time I have been able to actually see The Movielife. For a band that didn’t exist for the better part of a decade they sounded fantastic. It also didn’t take long for Vinnie to proclaim that this was the best show the band had ever played in Atlanta. The chemistry was still there as they truly looked excited to be playing again. (NZ)
The Get Up Kids
The Get Up Kids opened with “Holiday”. I feel as if thats all that needs to be said, because at that point my feelings had been shattered. Much like The Movielife, it seemed as if The Get Up Kids didn’t skip a beat either. The band looked and sounded as if they never went away– one of the most memorable performances of the weekend for sure. (NZ)
Sorority Noise (made up of Old Gray and Prawn members) are an incredibly impressive band because after just watching Old Gray on the same stage a few hours earlier, it’s amazing how Cameron’s vocal abilities range. There was a decent turn out for such a small stage, and the crowd was rowdy just as they were for Old Gray. “Blonde Hair, Black Lungs” and “Monokay” were included in their set, as well as a brief speech about the importance of recognizing mental illness. Cameron spoke out about how he has manic depression and how difficult it can be at times. I can’t reiterate enough how important it is for artists, no matter the platform size that they have, to speak about mental illness and seeking help for said illnesses. I’ll definitely be looking forward to seeing Sorority Noise the next time they pass through! (KL)
If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever see/shoot the Descendents I would have laughed. I’ve now done that twice. By the time they took the stage they had the majority of the days concertgoers at the Music Park stage and were the perfect band to end the night with. It’s absolutely amazing that a band that has been around for more than 30 years still has the energy of teenagers. Frontman Milo Aukerman (the smartest man in punk rock) controls a crowd like no other. It’s an absolute honor and privilege to see this band in 2015 and I couldnt be more thankful for them being on the Wrecking Ball lineup. (NZ)