Live Music Review //
Their | They're | There / Sweet Pill / The Most
March 7th, 2023
Space Ballroom, Hamden CT

Additional photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

Before we even get into the music side of this, I want to say that this was on a Tuesday night in Connecticut in early March (when weather can still be a factor) and yet somehow there was a great crowd at the Space Ballroom.   I was definitely impressed by the number of people that came out to this show not because of those playing but because of the circumstances of state and it being a weekday.  

This was billed as an emo show but I'm not really sure if any of these bands are emo, though I suppose we all sort of have our own definitions of what emo means based upon how old we are, when we first heard it, etc.  While I do enjoy emo, I always think of it (in terms of style) as being more whiny than any of these artists were and this show just felt like it had this positive energy more than the feeling of just having your heart broken.

First up was The Most, who are from right here in Connecticut.  When I saw a saxophone on the stage I knew we were in for a treat.  The unbridled chaos of The Most is quite something to behold.  At times, it felt like there were different people in the band doing their own things- the bassist and drummer existing in a different song from the guitar and sax- but they somehow still made it work.

Not to show my age, but for me it was a big deal when Sweep The Leg Jonny came around and put a sax into punk rock.  But what The Most is doing isn't even like that.  It's somewhere between jazz, experimental (which should go without saying), math rock and then there is also the screaming.  It can feel like this improvised jam band at times when it's instrumental and then at other times it can just have these vocals and blasts through like it's just a wave of sound.  

Whether or not all of this sounds appealing to you, I think most people should witness The Most live at least once in their life just for the experience.   But if I could see The Most play shows in CT every weekend I would.  They opened this show with a bang and it just set the tone.  I didn't know a lot of what to expect going into this show, but The Most just made me feel like I had made the best decision by being there.

Up second was Sweet Pill, who are from Philly and are touring in support of their 2022 album "Where the Heart Is".    Few artists will likely ever move me the way that Sweet Pill has.  At some point in time, I was listening to a band I knew on Spotify and when their album ended Spotify played songs they thought I would like.  One of them I was sure to make note of was "Blood", which then lead me to listen to all of Sweet Pill and then two plus two equals four as I had these songs all stuck in my head and needed to go to this show.

Just to solidify my state of mind going into this show versus how I am in general: I would rarely consider going out on a Tuesday night if it wasn't special.  Sometimes, I don't even want to go out on a Saturday night because I'm tired or I fear it will make me tired.  But this was a show where I knew that if I didn't go, and I didn't see Sweet Pill and I went with the old "I'll see them next time", I was going to regret it.  

Sweet Pill is probably one of the most powerful bands in all of the world that it feels like they should be more well known.  Maybe it's just because everything I like about music seems to be put into one package known as Sweet Pill.  At its heart, the sound is that of melodic grunge.  There are these crunchy, start and stop guitar chords that make me think of Campground Effect or bands like that.

But there is something else in there.  Is it the pop? Is it the grunge?  Is it the way they can play a slow song?  I don't know.  But sometimes when a group of people come together and create music it can feel really, really special and that's what Sweet Pill has done.  It's just that type of sound I don't think I'll ever get over and the crowd was completely into it as well.  For one brief moment in time, everyone in that room knew we were seeing the best band in the world.

And something also must be said about the overall character of Zayna Youssef, who provides lead vocals for Sweet Pill.  Between the singing and sometimes screaming, there is just this energy- this stage presence that a lot of people lack.  It's not just something that you hear on Spotify and think "This is really special", but seeing Sweet Pill live just confirms how special it all really is.  

To top this all off, up third and last was the band Their | They're | There, who I have heard a lot about in writing but have never really listened to in any sort of significant way.   I didn't really know going into this was TTT was going to sound like, but I assumed emo and when I think of emo I go into bands like Saves the Day and The Get Up Kids.   But, dear reader, I will tell you that TTT has quite the different sound from what I would call emo.

At the core, the singing of it all with the guitar parts made me think of a band such as Piebald.   And there are even these math rock qualities to TTT, the way certain notes are played, and that just made me think of early Piebald as well.  But then there are also these times when there are bass chords (I think) and everything just gets so heavy and loud.  

In a lot of ways I think live music will always be better than anything recorded because it just feels more personal.  There is also just this raw way about it that I don't think studio equipment can always capture.   But TTT is definitely a band that- for three people- makes a lot of noise.  And if you've ever heard or not heard things about them before, I definitely think you should go out of your way to see them if you have the chance.  

The Space Ballroom can be found on the web here :::

The Most :::

Sweet Pill :::

Their | They're | There ::: 


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