Sounds of the Underground
In The Day reunite for benefit show at Basement Transmissions.
I started my day on Friday, June 28 by listening to both of my copies of In The Day's split seven-inch vinyl with Domestic War, partly as a ceremonial gesture for the day's coming event, partly to further my excitement that I would be seeing one of my favorite bands play again nearly a year and a half after they called it quits. I made a conscious decision not to wear one of their five different shirts that I own (I know the unwritten rule about not wearing a band's shirt to their show, but for them I almost made an exception), and I had a serious discussion with my friend about getting matching tattoos with In The Day lyrics on them.
If you can't tell yet, I'm a pretty big In The Day fan.
And in case you haven't read my previous story, local pop-punk band In The Day held their first (and hopefully not only) reunion show that Friday at Basement Transmissions, along with a horde of other Erie locals, as a benefit for the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Although no exact numbers were recorded, nearly everyone took up the offer of free admission with the donation of a non-perishable food item instead of the $5 charge at the door.
"We were able to collect a sizable amount of non-perishable donations for the Second Harvest Food Bank, which is awesome," said Shane Young, In The Day's vocalist.
Opening sets by melodic hardcore Phases and sludgy experimental political hardcore Mere Phantoms set the pace for the show, showing a divergence from the gratuitous "tough guy" style of hardcore the Erie scene is used to – not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's nice to mix it up now and again.
The show really started to hit its stride when Human Animal, who could be considered an Erie superband, featuring ex-members of prominent Erie bands such as Brother's Keeper, Shockwave, and xDisciplex AD, took the stage. Or what at least could be considered the stage, seeing as the small venue's stage only really has room for the drummer and amplifiers, forcing the rest of the band to play on the floor. Human Animal's aggressive, shredtastic set provided the first of many sing-alongs from the crowd that night.
Next up was Tuesday's Too Late, the only non-Erie band on the bill. TTL toured with In The Day during the summers of 2010 and 2011, and the band members have remained friends since. Members of In The Day were in the front of the crowd singing along with much of their metal-inspired set.
Between every other band, most of the crowd would go outside to smoke and shoot the bull until the band next band would start to play. But when it was In The Day's turn to set up their gear, the outdoor gathering was cut to a minimum. No one wanted to miss even a second of the night's main event.
Most people were already hot and sweaty from being crammed inside the tiny venue, but before In The Day was even ready to play the crowd began packing tighter and tighter towards the front. As if it weren't crowded enough already, as soon as the first song, "Jonny is the Maker," reached the first verse, fans pushed their way even closer to the front singing along to every word, leaving little to no distinction as to where the band ended and the audience began.
I was one of the ones in the very front, so close to the band that I was trying my best not to step on either of the guitarists' pedal boards. After the first song, they each moved their pedal boards behind them. Someone in the back ironically shouted "One more song!"
During their first song, someone accidentally hit Shane Young, the band's vocalist, right beneath the left eye, making a small cut which left a stream of blood running down his cheek. Does it get more punk than that?
"I was too amped up to really feel any physical pain at that point," he said. "I didn't notice it at all until, I think it was Drew, said 'You're crying blood, dude!'"
Throughout their entire set, not a single word went unsung by most of the crowd. If you were to watch a video of the show, you would probably hear the fans singing along more so than the actual singer through the PA system, as well people crowd surfing and piling on top on one another fighting for a chance to get to the mic. The punk gods would have been pleased to see such a sight.
Chris Merritt (Phases, ex-Domestic War) and Casey Kuftic (ex- Guts + Glory, Sinking Sun, Biter) provided guest vocals on the songs "Jonny is the Maker" and "Slaughter is the Best Medicine," respectively, and unexpected backup vocals were performed by Kelce Coon (Doses) on the song "Tony Ruined my Summer."
In The Day's 13-song set consisted of eight out of the 10 tracks from their 2010 self-released (later re-released under Off The Map Records) full-length album "Friends, Foes, and Failures," both songs from their 2011 seven-inch vinyl, and four cover songs, including a pop-punk rendition of 100 Demon's "Suffer" (released on the seven-inch vinyl). And as any die-hard In The Day fan would know, no In The Day show is complete without their cover of Saves The Day's "Rocks Tonic Juice Magic."
The highlight of the night came in the final song "Sneaker Juice" when bassist Tony Amatangelo and guitarist Drew Chiodo abandoned their instruments to join the audience during the song's final chorus. Chiodo dove on top of the crowd while Amatangelo put his arms over the shoulders of the people in front singing "Forget about today, because this is tonight! My friends are all coming over to make me feel alright!" The fans, now drenched in sweat, certainly felt more than alright afterward.
"All I can say is that I'm extremely grateful," said Young. "Even if seeing us play one more time meant something to just one kid, that in itself is a surreal feeling. It's been one hell of a ride, and I'm so thankful for anyone who took the time to show us any kind of support…we really couldn't have asked for a better evening."
Guitarist Jake Horton believes that the diverse styles of the bands and the turnout of the audience represented an optimistic outlook for the future of Erie's music scene.
"This show isn't just about us," Horton said. "I think this shows how the scene can truly come together."
Jonny is the Maker!
American Hearts (Piebald)
Tyler James Enunciates
These Rocks Don't Grow Moss
Suffer (100 Demons)
Slaughter is the Best Medicine
Armageddon (Alkaline Trio)
Daddy Loche W.W.S.
Tony Ruined My Summer
Rocks Tonic Juice Magic (Saves The Day)
Tommy Shannon can be contacted at tShannon@ErieReader.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @txkx