Manchester Orchestra maintains quite a hold on the city of Columbus, Ohio. Originally selling out Newport Music Hall for their “A Black Mile To The Surface” tour, the concert was moved to the larger venue of Express! Live. Which, also ended the night as being sold out. The band has a lot of love for the city after many years of support, which truly represents the band and how it has grown over the years.
Starting off their 75-minute set, a nearly-dark stage became lightly illuminated alongside the gentle instrumentation of “The Maze” which also happens to be the first track off of their latest album. Sequentially following were “The Gold” and “The Moth” which progress in intensity perfectly as a trio both on the album and onstage. Next was classic old hard-hitter, “Shake It Out”. Manchester Orchestra has perfected the art of picking a crowd up with their more aggressive songs, while gently bringing everyone back down. This was most visible during the transition from “Cope” to “The River”.
Not to mention, vocalist and songwriter Andy Hull’s ability to bring his passion onstage. This is one quality that hasn’t changed for the band over the years, even though their lineup has seen many members come and go. “A Black Mile To The Surface” also presented a new lineup with Hull, Robert McDowell, Andy Prince, and Tim Very. The album itself is solid, and shows a compromise between the beautiful “Simple Math” and the more assertive “Cope”.
In between transitions Hull expressed his gratitude towards Columbus fans and local radio station, CD102.5. “No other city in America supports us as much as Columbus, Ohio does,” he explained, after selling out more copies of “Simple Math” than any other city, and many sold out shows. If you’ve ever been to a concert, you’ve obviously heard these sorts of expressions before. The difference with Manchester Orchestra, is that it was purely authentic.
Coming back for their two-song encore, the band chose “I Can Feel a Hot One”, which is their most-played track via Spotify. Also perfectly following their latest album, “The Silence” was the gentle set-closer. The set provided a fantastic combination of tracks off of their new album, along with other well-known songs and some less well-known. It goes to show that Manchester Orchestra is staying at a constant, and it is truly evident that they will always have a place within the airwaves and people of Columbus.
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