The first band to hit the stage for the Movements headlining tour on May 13th, 2019 at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millvale, PA was a band that goes by the name of “Drug Church”. Drug Church hit the stage, and when they did so it was apparent that their energy, in their own characteristic way, was at 100%. To further, it felt like there was a huge disconnect between the instrumental portions of their selections versus the vocals. Within that, it felt like the instrumentalists were doing their own thing, and the vocalist was doing his own thing. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for the band, for the instrumentals they provided were top notch, which gave the audience something to attach to early on. However, the vocal timbre of the vocalist’s voice is quite eclectic, and having this balance gave the audience the time to decide if they were here for the odd sound, or if it just wasn’t for them. As the set went on, it was noticeable that the lead singer would act out the lyrics he was relaying to the audience, at first, this appeared to be a tad odd, but eventually it sunk in that it worked for the band’s aesthetic. Overall, I would say that Drug Church was a solid opener for the tour, for their sound lies closely to that of Trash Boat, and they did everything in their power to get the audience warmed-up for the bands that followed them.
Next up was a band making their first Pittsburgh appearance: Trash Boat. As soon as Trash Boat hit the stage it was apparent that the city has been dying for the band to tour here, for the crowd went nuts- especially for an opening act. The band played a nice variety of tunes, most of them falling on their newest release “Crown Shyness”, but within their set, they were able to give the audience a nice balance between strict pop punk tunes, and tunes that borderline the alternative/hardcore genre lines. As one watches the band, it can be seen that each band member is just lying into every facet of each selection, this makes for an outwardly live experience, for the audience is experiencing the music in a more elevated light compared to just listening to the album in their free time (yes, this is how it should be, but you would be surprised). As mentioned previously, the crowd went absolutely wild for the artist, which the band fed off of well, which made for a set where the intensity continued to build until the very end. Overall, Trash Boat was a fantastic opener for this tour because their genre of music is a tad detached from Movements, but close enough to bring in the same fan base, and they had no problem with getting the crowd ready for the headliner.
Next on the list was a band that most people in attendance were ready for: Boston Manor. Now before diving into the specifics of their set, I just have to say that the boys in Boston Manor completely tore the stage apart and made it their own- now, let’s see how they did it. From the jump, Boston Manor came out with energy that was locked in at 10000%. They were able to do so by playing one of their most popular songs, “Flowers in Your Dustbin”, and then get it kicking from there. As the set progressed, it was apparent that the band was playing mainly songs from their most recent release “Welcome to the Neighbourhood”; however, the band still gave the audience the throwback tracks that would make the crowd go absolutely insane like “Laika”, “Lead Feet”, and “Burn You Up”. During the set, the band urged the audience to give all the energy they have, and the audience did just that through screaming lyrics, moshing, and a huge circle pit during “If I Can’t Have It No One Can”. Overall, Boston Manor was a delight live, and they were a perfect pre-headliner for this tour because their music and the aura that they created during their set made the perfect mood for Movements to follow them.
Finally, the band that everyone in the joint was waiting for, the one, the only: Movements. To start, Movements crafted a setlist that was nearly perfect, so knowing that alone affirms that this set was about to killer. As one watches Movements, it is noticeable that the band isn’t over the top with flipping their guitars or jumping around the stage; rather, the band digs into their own individual parts, which allows those individual lines to shine through. One thing about Movements’ music that is so special is how simply complex it is. Therefore, by the band taking a step back, in terms of stage “craze” allows them to relay those meaningful and intricate lyrical lines that the audience knows and loves. As mentioned earlier, their setlist was absolutely stellar, most of the selections came from their highly loved album “Feel Something”, but they also gave the audience two selections off their debut EP “Outgrown Things”. This balance gave way for the audience to lose their minds as they screamed the lyrics of each song at the top of their lungs. During a Movements set, there is some moshing, but most of the action is from everyone binding together to just scream every single word back at the band, and those complete moments were so mesmerizing to be a part of. Overall, Movements put on a headlining show that was purely characteristic to them, and an event that was so special to witness. I remember seeing Movements on the small “Full Sail” stage at the Vans Warped Tour in 2017, and now, not even a full two years later, they are on their biggest US headlining tour, completely killing it. So proud, good work.
I feel like the score for this tour is a total no-brainer: a clear 5 out of 5 stars. Every single act on this tour came onto the stage and gave every ounce of energy that had in their own characteristic way. By doing so, the audience was exhausted with great music, and they were given a night that would never forget. Definitely check out this tour is the opportunity arises, but most importantly- go see Boston Manor and Movements live any chance you get. Nicely done!