At the Troc. last Friday, New Jersey pop-punkers Midtown played an hour-long set to a capacity crowd at the Philly stop of their first-ever headlining tour.
Switching back and fourth through their catalog it was evident those attending were more familiar with Midtown’s latest disc, Living Well Is The Best Revenge, as they sang along to the choruses of “Like A Movie,” “Still Trying” and “Become What You Hate.”
Though lesser-known to all most anyone but the truest of fans, the crowd seemed equally as eager to hear selections from the bands other album, Save The World, Lose The Girl, like “Let Go” and “Fraying All The Ends.”
Early in the set bassist/vocalist Gabe Saporta stopped a moment to address the crowd.
“Philly was one of the first places to pick us up,” he said.
“We love you.”
Though well aware of that since a pair scrolling marquees saying “We love you” sat atop the amps, everyone cheered the sincerity of the ass-kissing.
Even though they are only a four-piece, Midtown has three singers, which offers great variation and depth to their sound.
Saporta’s voice nears that of Millencolin’s vocalist, while guitarists Tyler Rann and Heath Saraceno fill out the sound with impressive backing vocals.
Surprisingly, the ratio of guys to girls at the show was nearly 2-to-1.
Since Midtown is certainly not hard on the eyes, one might have expected the opposite.
The greater guy following could have been inspired by the opening band, hardcore label Victory Records’ Taking Back Sunday.
The surprise of the night, however, had to be during the Taking Back Sunday set as singer Adam Lazzara climbed from the stage to the balcony to hang upside down and sing with the mic cord wrapped around his neck.
He later climbed up to the other side of the balcony in a similar fashion, this time jumping onto the crowd rather then climbing back down.
Lazzara hardly suffers from stage fright, as he came out twice during Midtown’s set. The first time he came out was to pull fans from the crowd onto the stage to compete in an impromptu dance contest.
The second, to lead a successful “one more song” chant after Midtown completed the body of their set.
As expected, Midtown came back out for an encore consisting of “Fraying All The Ends” and “A Faulty Foundation” to close a solid performance.
Heather Duffy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org