Transit playing at The Met in Pawtucket, RI last night, December 30th.
For Christmas, I got my kid brother tickets to his first show. Back in November, I saw that one of my favorite bands, Transit, was playing at The Met. Sam, my go-to concert buddy, wasn’t available to go, so I figured I’d take my brother and make a good time of it.
I’d never been to The Met, so it was a first time experience for me as well. And let me say – The Met is tiny. I’ve been to a lot of venues in New England and The Met is hands down the smallest and most intimate. I snagged tickets to see The Front Bottoms there in February and I can’t wait. I was pretty thankful that the show wasn’t packed, though. I’ve been working a lot because of the holiday and just got a pretty substantial tattoo, so I’ve been sore. (Not to mention I was not in the mood to have to keep my brother from doing something stupid in the pit.)
But so since it was the kid’s first show, I got a fair amount of questions throughout the night. (My favorite was “What’s a mosh pit?”, oh you sweet summer child.) One of them, however, was “What’s an opener?”
I have a love/hate relationship with opening bands. Some nights, I just don’t care. Either I’m too hyped up for the headliner or am ambivlent or sometimes, rarely, I’m more excited for the opener than I am for the headliner. I’ve seen openers of varying musical ability, stage presence, or combination thereof. But sometimes, you get an opener that just works.
Last night I started off in a bit of a bad mood – I was sore and (as much as I love him) I was a little bored of answering my brother’s questions. The Met has tables on a platform on the far wall, so I was stationed there with my brother when the first opener of the night, Trophy Wives took the stage. We remained seated during the first few songs – the pit was already pretty lively and I didn’t feel like getting tangled up in that, but I really liked their music. I have a thing for really enthusiastic pop punk bands and that’s what Trophy Wives is. Their music is solid, punch-life-in-the-face-while-wearing-a-crewneck pop punk – I described them to my friend “like Pencey Prep and The Wonder Years had a baby”, high praise coming from me.
Then, at risk of sounding overdramatic, the set changed. After filming the crowd for a live music video, the band dove into a rousing cover of Sum 41’s “Fat Lip”. Like an self-respecting devotee of early 2000s pop punk, I dragged my brother onto the floor and started screaming along. It’s definitely a weird experience being in a crowd where the people next to you only kind of know the lyrics to “Fat Lip”, but Trophy Wives killed it. (I also have to give a lot of credit to the boys of Trophy Wives for maintaining their energy for the entire set. It’s hard to do, especially when the crowd isn’t the most energetic. My hat’s off to you boys.)
Long Lost is a side project of Transit’s Joe Boynton, which started as an acoustic gig that has now fleshed out into a full-band with a mature sound. Their set was fun and shared the same elements of what I love about Transit – it’s loyal to its New England routes. My favorite of the set had to be “You Can Always Come Home”. As someone who spends a lot of time waxing poetic about the New England winters I hate, I feel like it’s quickly going to become a favorite song of mine. Joe Boynton’s stage presence is wonderful, full of energy and honesty in his performance.
The night’s third opener, Misser is a project between members of Transit and This Time Next Year. If there’s one thing that I took away from this show – it’s that these are people who love to play music. You could feel that with Misser’s set. I love when you can tell that the musicians are just happy to be playing – The Menzinger’s set at the Sinclair last January had a similar energy and it maintains to be one of the best show I have ever seen. This show is definitely one for the memory books as well.
One downside to a show with so many openers is that you can feel like you’ve been there for approximately a million years. I was definitely starting to feel it by the time Transit took the stage, but as soon as they started playing I was able to forget about that. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – when a band is just so happy to be playing, their set improves. Transit definitely proved that theory last night. Despite family emergencies, the band played a killer set and even came back to play two more songs.
The highlights of the set for me where definitely hearing Joe Boynton talk about his mom before playing an emotionally charged “Weathered Souls”. Coming from a working class New England family myself, I’d already loved the song, but hearing Boynton talk about his mom working multiple jobs to keep their family afloat, the song has a whole new layer of meaning for me. My second favorite moment of the set was the live version of “Young New England”, which is my favorite track on their new record of the same name. It was also the song that introduced me to the band.
All in all? A great show that not only introduced me to a new venue I’m excited to frequent, but also introduced me to a local band I’m excited to introduce all my friends to. (Did this post end up just being about Trophy Wives? Sorry.)