Souvenirs was the opener for the Basement/Citizen co-headlining tour on May 17, 2018 hosted at the Rex Theater in Pittsburgh, PA. Before the band played a note, they set the stage for their audience. They were able to do so by having lights strung across and throughout their stage setup. This gave off a mod or retro feel, which would enhance their presentation. Looking towards the music they presented, the band presented music that mixed the pop punk genre with a new wave style of music, perfectly. This blending of genres gave the band more flexibility with their musical preparation and interpretation, which would make for a pleasing result. Furthermore, throughout their set, the band gave their audience musical selections that had elaborate instrumental features. These features would pull the attention of the audience quickly, for each member of the band would put their all into their presentation, which would enhance the result of the performance. Most of the selections they performed included the strategic use of musical silence. This helped to enhance their instrumental melodies because following the subtle breaks, the instrumentation would pop and crash down to cause a strong, pleasing sound. The music they gave the audience wasn’t overly complicated, musically speaking, but it was still enjoyable, and the way the band presented their music had a great hand in that. Overall, Souvenirs put on a great performance, and they were a solid opener for this show, for they utilize key musical aspects that are also heard in music by Citizen and Basement.
The next band to hit the stage was a band by the name of Pronoun. The band hit the stage, and when they did so, they had an almost adorable aura to them. Each member of the band appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, just like they were finally living their dream, which made them all the more likable. During the breaks in the set, the lead singer would talk to the audience, and it would almost come across awkward, but that type of awkward that is endearing, which made the audience more interested in their music. The music they presented was fairly standard to the alternative/pop punk scene of music. This was driven home by their progressive percussion motives paired with their cranking bass throughout every selection. As they played through their set, it was heard that most of the time their vocals felt almost detached from the instrumental melodies that were playing at the same time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but at times it would be hard for one to feel more attached to the instrumentals or the vocals; however, this conflict makes for the mixing of musical ideas, which produces an ornate sound. Another notable point from this performance was how much the musicians would get into their own part. At one point, the lead guitarist was tearing through one of his solos, and he got so into it his glasses flew off. It was exciting as well as enjoyable to see and artist get into the music as much as they did, for it makes the music shine more. Overall, Pronoun was a good addition for the tour line-up, and as they mature into their stage-presence, they’ll definitely begin to take off.
The next band on the agenda was the one, the only: Citizen. Before even diving into their music, Citizen hit the stage ready to go, and the crowd was even more ready than they were. Throughout their set, Citizen provided their audience with over the top instrumental breakdowns that were enhanced from the recorded versions to the in-person experience. They were able to do so by building off the energy that the crowd was giving them as well as adding electronics and other sound enhancers that made the ornate nature of their music shine. As they gave their audience a progressive performance, they were able to do so by performing selections off their newest album “As You Please” as well as older works. This gave the audience the opportunity to lose themselves as they enjoy their new and old favorites. With that being said, it is important to note that this band goes in on their instrumental breakdowns. When one listens to their instrumentals just casually they sound cool, but live? They grind in on those, which makes the crowd go absolutely wild. Their instrumentals are enhanced by messing with the ornate nature of the rhythms that are already in place; additionally, they are able to stretch moments to increase the musical tension, which works beautifully with their music. The last major note to remark about within their set is that Citizen gives their audience the best opportunity to just go crazy and have a good time. They are continuously using the crowd to scream their lyrics at the top of their lungs with crowdsurfing and stagediving happening constantly. Really, their set was simply fantastic, and there’s no reason to sugar-coat that.
The last band to hit the stage were the boys all the way from the United Kingdom: Basement. When Basement hit the stage the crowd went absolutely nuts, and they had every right to do so. There is so much to address from this performance, and it is so hard to know where to start. With that being said, we’ll focus on the music they played first. Throughout their set, Basement played selections off all their releases. This was well-received, for it gave the audience all of their material that they’ve come to know and love, which would only enhance their performance all the more. Additionally, they were able to play songs that held at a quicker pace, and some at a lesser one. This is strong, for it gives the audience a fluctuation in feel that will alter their participation in the set whether that be through yelling the lyrics, moshing, crowdsurfing, or stagediving. Next, is crucial to talk about how heavy these boys grind into their instrumentals. When they play through an instrumental interlude, they don’t just play it; rather, each member of the band gives it their 10000%, which makes for an overall crazy experience. They were able to do this by stretching their musical boundaries by completely progressing every aspect of their musicianship that is heard from recording to live performance. For instance, when one listens to Basement recreationally, it feels like a good “I just wanna chill and jam” kind of music, but when one sees them live, you want to lose your control because that’s how much this band enhances their instrumentals. Lastly, I have never witnessed a band throw themselves into their music the way that this band did. The band followed every heavy hit to enhance each work. Each lyric was sung with love and energy paired with this over the top nature of dancing and bodily movements. Honestly, this review could go on and on, but to put it bluntly: this is the first time I’ve ever seen Basement live, and I’ll never miss them in my city ever again.
Overall, I would give this concert a strong 4.5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this concert that score for a few reasons. The first reason as to why I landed on this score is because all of the artists on the line-up dove into their music, and one could easily see that each musician was living their best life while just giving the audience fantastic music in an elevated light. The second reason I chose this score is because the crowd for both Citizen and Basement was absolutely crazy, which only made the concert all the more enjoyable. The openers for this tour were rather good, but I feel like if they would’ve brought 10% more heat, the concert would’ve been a 5 out of 5. Regardless, go out and see this tour: it is such a good time, and you’ll feel that dead feeling after the concert that proves the show was killer.