Written By | Jilian McLendon
It was a dream-come-true for me to capture the Atlanta show of Bayside’s Interrobang Tour at The Masquerade – Hell. Their newest album, Interrobang (2019), is clearly a stroke of poetic and technical genius and plays to both individual and cohesive strengths developed over the decades. Despite nearly 20 years and eight successful studio albums they are still producing high quality, progessive jams that keep avid fans like me completely obsessed and coming back for more.
At the start of the album release, Anthony Raneri (lead vocals, guitar) and Bayside opened up a country wide battle of the bands contest aimed to give all local, unsigned bands the opportunity to open for them at each corresponding city throughout the tour. Over 1000 bands submitted into the contest and over 200,000 votes were cast! Savannah based band The Sullivans won their spot to open at the Masquerade! Though they may be young, they have a pretty strong set and various musical influences ranging from new age punk rock to ska. We even got the appearance of the trombone! They concluded the 4 song gig losing their minds shredding, popping guitar strings, and rolling on the floor: in true punk tradition.
The Chicago folk punk band Sincere Engineer closed their leg of the Bayside tour with this Atlanta show and frontwoman Deanna Belos (lead vocals, guitar) was feeling a bit emotional about that fact. On the subject she commented, “I’m so sad that I may cry.” and “They [Bayside] are seriously the nicest people in the world!” Their appreciation was conveyed in their choice of outfit: each one wearing all black shirts with Bayside insignia. Deanna and the remaining of the quartet consisting of Adam Beck (drums), Nick Arvanitis (bass guitar), and Cory Willis (guitar) have a nice, clean sound and it was presented that Willis had only a month to learn all the songs for the tour! We were treated to a fair amount of songs from their album Rhombithian (2017) including “Let You Down”, “Shattering”, and “Overbite”. From start to finish they had such an incredible energy. I don’t think drummer Adam Beck stopped smiling the entire time; it’s evident that they find the deepest passion in what they do. If you haven’t checked out this up-and-coming band then I would absolutely recommend a listen.
I know that I am biased, but Bayside is the most incredible band I have ever experienced. Most people have bands that saved them in some way or another, got them through some trying times, or just had the perfect words to fill a void; Bayside has always done this for me so they hold such a special and unique place in my heart. They started their set enthusiastically with their first single from the new album “Interrobang”, then transitioned to other fan faves “Sick, Sick, Sick” Killing Time (2011) and “Blame It On Bad Luck” Bayside (2005). We were blessed with sweet tracks from The Walking Wounded (2007) “Duality”, “The Walking Wounded”, “They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns” and “Carry On”. From their new album, Interrobang (2019), they also played “Prayers”, “Numb”, “Tall”, and “Bury Me” – all incredible and captivating.
Anthony, Jack O’Shea (lead guitar), Nick Ghanbarian (bass guitar), and Chris Guglielmo (drums) have amazing stage chemistry. Not only are they still so grateful for their fans, but they are a joy to watch. Anthony noted that after 19 years as a band he was so happy “that anyone gives a shit about what we have to say anymore” which was indisputable with the amount of people in the audience singing along to all the new material that was released just a little over a month prior. Faithful fans know and willingly accept that #baysideisacult and are thrilled to be a part of something so amazing as any association with them. After all these years, we thrive to grow with them, support them, mosh and crowd surf to the songs that we have been listening to for decades. They’re the type of band that only gets better with age and that’s clear from the incredible performance they put on, relatable content they continue to create, and the unwavering loyalty of their fanbase. No matter how many times I get to see them or the fact that I still have no voice from sing/screaming along to every single song all night may just prove that I am one of those fans. Happily. For the rest of my days.
Photo Credit: Jilian McLendon