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CMJ: Bayside goes big at Highline Ballroom

Members of the group Bayside.

Members of the group Bayside. Photo Credit: Handout

    Taking the Highline Ballroom stage to the theme from “Rocky,” longtime underdogs and regularly underappreciated Long Island rockers Bayside started the promotion for its upcoming “Killing Time” album with a high-energy bang.
    The sing-alongs (and the circle pit) started early, as the band began with fan favorites “The Walking Wounded” and “Duality.” But it wasn’t until the new song “Already Gone” that singer/guitarist Anthony Raneri and the band kicked into a different gear, clearly revved-up by unveiling the aggressive rocker for one of the first times outside its Lindenhurst rehearsal space. It’s catchy, but also powerful and in-your-face, a bold choice for the band’s first single on its new label Wind-Up Records.
    “Already Gone” shows that Bayside isn’t backing away from the style it started building 10 years ago – when its intimate, confessional lyrics and hardcore-influenced guitar riffs and driving rhythms were new and “emo” had no stigma whatsoever.
    That doesn’t mean Bayside isn’t moving forward though. The heroic guitarwork of Jack O’Shea Thursday night on “I Think I’ll Be OK” made the song sound even more anthemic, while “Montauk” has picked up even more intensity.
    By the time the band teed up a raucous version of Weezer’s “My Name Is Jonas” the mosh pit was in a full frenzy, ready for the band’s signature “Devotion and Desire” to wrap the hour-long set. If Bayside can keep up this intensity through the launch of “Killing Time” on Feb. 22, they may finally get the hit they have long deserved.

SETLIST: The Walking Wounded / Duality / They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns / Alcohol and Alter Boys / Already Gone / Tortures of the Damned / Just Enough to Love You / I Think I’ll Be OK / Half a Life / Landing Feet First / (Pop)Ular Science / Montauk / Blame It on Bad Luck / My Name Is Jonas / Devotion and Desire

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