Live Review: Motion City Soundtrack – B/ham Academy 2

Fresh from the release of their simplistically titled ‘Go’ the pop rock outfit Motion City Soundtrack hit up the UK shores for a nine day stint across Scotland and England, their only UK shows since their two day stop for Slam Dunk Festival earlier in the year.

To start the night though we have the musical stylings of Page 44, the rock and indie boys have played their fair share of the Academy 2 stage before. Despite mild disinterest from the crowd, most of whom are here to see the headliners, the Brummie boys don’t let it bring them down and after a shaky start pull off a brilliant show. “This song is so brand new that we don’t actually have a title for it yet” guitarist Adam Standford announces. Lead singer Adam Vygus explains how honoured he is to be playing with Motion City Soundtrack and they finish their set with some awesome rock which finally gets the crowd moving.

Now, Now are up next. The small room slowly becomes more and more packed as fans pile in. The room goes dark and two girls can be seen playing guitars on stage, with the help of a drummer and an Apple Mac (instead of a bass player). Their first song seems to drone into their second song which in turn fuses into their third song with the girls stopping to say ‘thanks’ only the once. Their music is an acquired taste (not mine) and by the end of their set, half of the audience is asleep.

Some bands would probably feel disheartened coming from America to play a show that isn’t sold out but it didn’t bring Motion City Soundtrack down one bit.

Entering with a huge rush of excitement and played to their hearts content. Starting with ‘Better Open the Door’ from their 2005 album ‘Commit this to Memory’ they made an impact straight away and the crowd is bouncing along with them every step of the way.

Classic songs like ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ and ‘My Favourite Accident’ are mixed with new tracks and the crowd and band are having the time of their life.

Justin Pierre is quite a funny front man but Motion City Soundtrack are all so animated that it’s hard to focus on one just one person. “This is gonna be our last song”, Justin says as he breaks into ‘Everything is Alright’. When the band leave they are instantly enticed back and start ‘L.G. FUAD’. The audience sing it back to them in harmony and solidarity. “Okay this time it is our last song, thank you everyone”, Joshua Cain’ says as the band rip into ‘The Future Freaks Me Out’ a perfect song to end on as it has such a catchy chorus and allows the audience some participation to help the band out, and the fans are very happy.

Motion City Soundtrack have been to England fourteen times over the past few years, they’ve been on the main stage at Slam Dunk and Reading Festival and are always on tour, with shows like this they definitely deserve to be in bigger venues… when they do get to them, they will have certainly have earned it.

Motion City Soundtrack
After this show I was able to catch up with the band for a quick chat…

Interview with Matt, Tony and Jesse
Me: How does it feel to be back in the UK?
Jesse: The shows are really good over here, we’ve always had good crowds over here, this is

Me: What was it like playing on main stage at Slam Dunk and the Reading Main stage?
Jesse: I think that’s probably the biggest stage we ever played on. It felt crazy because it was cool, but it did feel kind of awkward because it was so big and there was such space between the stage and the barricade. So from where the crowd started I feel like you could fit our normal crowd.
Jesse: There are pluses and minuses to both, sometimes a show can be really fun when you know the people are there to see you but you hope at a festival that you’re winning people over.

Me: If you go from ‘My Dinosaur Life’ which was a very obscure album title to the simply titled ‘Go’ how did that come about? Was it a big decision or did it just happen?
Matt: It just kind of came about. Justin just mentioned it like ‘How do you feel about Go?’ and I said ‘Well I don’t hate it’
Tony: Something about the simplicity of it is something I liked. If you go back to all our other album titles they were really long winded and this one seemed really simple.

Me: I’m sure you get asked this a lot but what’s your favourite song to play live?
Jesse: Right now for me we just started playing ‘Boxelder’ like a few nights ago, that’s my personal favourite off the new record so I’m really excited to be playing that.

Me: Have you ever received something weird from a fan?
Matt: *laughs* We received dolls of ourselves..
Tony: Some of ‘em are really cool, some they did a really good job
Matt: Some, not so good, but um that’s pretty weird
Jesse: It must be time consuming. I know there’s been weird ones I just can’t think
Matt: Collages, some paintings of us and stuff. I remember there was a cake, a My Dinosaur Life cake that looked too good to eat…I felt bad eating it…it was delicious

Me: Do you enjoy Twitter and Facebook etc?
Jesse: I definitely check it quite often. Twitter anyways, I hate facebook but I definitely have a bit of a twitter addiction.

Me: I imagine that people would get star struck by meeting you, are there any bands you’d get star struck by?
Matt: Yeah definitely, I mean Paul McCartney or someone huge like that or even Radiohead I think I’d get a little weird about

Me: Did any of you ever imagine being in a band like this, a kind of happy poppy band?
Matt: I mean, I listen to everything but I do like heavier music as well but this just kind of presented itself and I just jumped on it. It happened really fast

Me: When you come to England what’s your favourite food to have?
Tony: I had deep fried pizza in Scotland, that was er.. interesting.
Matt: I like bangers and mash, depending on the specific, I’m sure there’s good and bad but It’s pretty good.
Me: The classic English meal
Jesse: I like to have Nandos every day, we don’t have those in the states and that’s my favourite place to eat here. It’s definitely the best place for chicken.