Written by | Teri Cwiek
The Welcome To Elsewhere Tour featuring Set It Off, Stand Atlantic, As It Is and No Love For The Middle Child rocked Chicago this past Sunday on February 6th to a packed crowd at House of Blues.
First to take the stage was No Love For The Middle Child, an artist and producer based out of Los Angeles, California. Immediately running into a tech issue, he asked the crowd if they had any jokes to repeat and pass the time while the problem was resolved. After a few minutes and more than a few laughs, he decided to begin the set with just his guitar and vocals, giving an intimate start to the night. Playing hits from his discography of EP’s got the crowd ready for the journey to Elsewhere.
See more photos of No Love For The Middle Child HERE
Next up was As It Is, a British-American pop punk band who recently debuted a condensed three piece lineup. Known for their melodically emo hooks and high energy performance, As It Is didn’t disappoint the people of Chicago. Fans sang along and bopped to the songs the band played, even those from their newest album, I WENT TO HELL AND BACK which was released only two days prior. The caps locked album brought selections such as “IDGAF”, “IN THREES” and “I MISS 2003” to the setlist and gave the crowd more reasons than before to go home and check out the hot release. In between songs the band announced that it was guitarist Ronnie Ish’s birthday. Thanking the crowd, he asked everyone to say a very heartfelt “I love you” altogether to his family and friends that had come out to the show.
See more photos of As It Is HERE
The energy stayed at a high percentage as Australian pop punk group Stand Atlantic took the stage. Supporting an album that dropped in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, the group finally got to showcase songs like “Jurassic Park”, “Hate Me (Sometimes)” and “Wavelength” from Pink Elephant live. Stand Atlantic also played a few songs off of their upcoming third album F.E.A.R., due to drop on May 6th this spring. The crowd went absolutely wild during the set, so much so that the band had to stop their set multiple times, sometimes mid-song, to make sure the fans in the mosh pit were safe.
See more photos of Stand Atlantic HERE
As the final set changeover began, a computerized voice announced that the scheduled programming would begin in fifteen minutes and left the crowd anxiously waiting while watching the crew set up three towering skeletons, neon painted potted plants and mannequins donning security cameras pointed directly at the crowd. When it was finally time for Set It Off to take the stage, the computerized lead a countdown and the crowd excitedly participated, ready to experience experiment 0143. A strobed light show started as the trio walked out in fluorescent, color coded fits alongside a guitar player in a bunny mask. The group began playing “Skeleton”, the first single off of their upcoming fifth album Elsewhere, scheduled to release on March 11th. The audience danced as Set It Off went into their most recent single, “Projector”, a song bashing those who project their issues onto others with no remorse. The track, which dropped only two weeks ago, let fans cathartically vent “shut the fuck up please” and let go of the irritation that the personal projectors in our lives put on us.
See more photos of Set It Off HERE
While the band only briefly took fans to Elsewhere, the setlist was filled with genre bending bangers from their other albums. In between songs, lead singer Cody Carson stopped to take in the “gorgeous fucking room” of the Chicago House of Blues ballroom they were performing in, seemingly reminiscing about the different sizes of crowds and stages the band has played so far in their thirteen year career. Another heartfelt moment of the set was the performance of “Unopened Windows”, a track off of their 2019 album Midnight. Stated as the second of two tracks Carson has ever written about his father’s passing, the song began by himself on piano and ended with an intimate clarinet solo of the “Danny Boy” melody that the songs share.
As the night started to close, the band broke out in a multi album medley with snippets of fan favorites including “Dream Catcher”, “Upside Down”, “Bleak December”, and “Partners In Crime” (featuring guest vox from As It Is’ Patty Walters) amongst others. The band then switched positions literally and drummer Maxx Danzinger took center stage with a ukulele in hand, leaving Carson behind the kit to perform 2014’s Duality hit, “Bad Guy”. Another Duality track, “N.M.E.”, had fans jumping so hard throughout that the floor of the venue felt like it was going to cave in. The band’s encore of “Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing” (on record featuring a verse from The Academy Is…’s William Beckett) had the crowd screaming lines calling out those who deceive others. Carson ended the night by thanking the crowd and saying, “we’re fucking back and it feels so good to say that.”
Photos by | Teri Cwiek