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MewithoutYou, Bear Vs. Shark and Codeseven

Thursday, May 19th, 2005
mewithoutYou / Bear vs. Shark / Codeseven
The Championship, Lemoyne, PA

Rarely is there a show where I happen to enjoy all of the bands on the bill, right down to the opening act.  However, this was one of the rare exceptions.
        The opening band, Codeseven (whom I doubt many people knew, due to the generally lukewarm response to their stellar performance) was great, and they played my three favorite songs from their newest album, <i>Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds</i>: "All
the Best Dreams", "Pathetic Justice", and "Roped and Tied".  The lead singer, who is the second front man for this band, put on a great show, convulsing as though an exorcism was needed before the end of their set.  The tranquil blue lights only added to the ambience of their powerful brand of ambient rock, which seemed somewhat misplaced when paired with the much louder and more frantic sound of the other two bands.
        As expected, Bear vs. Shark put on an impressive show.  The vocalist was beyond insane, and I don't use the word insane lightly, mind you.  When he wasn't jumping around on the amps and various other things, he was convulsing on the floor in what looked to be odd flailing, break dancing sort of moves. However, the most impressive thing about Bear vs. Shark, was that they all switched instruments
intermittently. The bassist played guitar for some songs, the singer picked up a guitar and played during their song "Kylie", and they all sporadically played keyboards.  They played the majority of their first album, <i>Right Now You're In The Best Of Hands</i> and a few songs off of their newest album, <i>Terrorhawk</i>, then yet to be released.  Possibly the highlight of their set was some random guy in the crowd shouting, "Play the bus song! I drove all the way from Philly to hear that fucking song!", to which the singer responded with
a pause and then "...and now we're going to play the bus song!"
        When mewithoutYou took the stage, I found myself wondering if the owners of the venue had merely picked up some homeless man off the street downtown and put him onstage to masquerade as the vocalist for the band.  He looked as though he hadn't bathed or shaved in several weeks, and prior to taking the stage, he had been painting houses for the past 18 hours or so.  However, looks can be deceiving. MeWithoutYou's vocalist Aaron was awesome- he looked like he was prancing and/or interpretive dancing the whole time. The man should really consider a career on some public access children's show, possibly one with puppets and costumes.  The band as a whole put on an absolutely amazing performance, transitioning from their older songs to newer ones flawlessly, captivating the audience the whole time. Few bands I've encountered could replicate the sound of their records so exactly, yet still put on a phenomenally engaging show.  After flouncing around the stage and playing what many would consider to be a musical orgasm for approximately 45 minutes or so, the night of magical...magical musical-ness was at an end, as was my poor attempt at alliteration. But at least I got to hear 'the fucking bus song'.

-Allison Frank