Gig Review by Chloe Gynne with Photography by Jeremy Carron

Modern Baseball

It might be freezing outside Electric Ballroom on this cold February night, but the temperature is rising inside in anticipation for Modern Baseball. It’s hard to tell whether this audience, full of new-school emos and pop punk fans, have removed their uniform plaid shirts and tied them around their waists in order to cool down, or just for aesthetic purposes. Either way, it’s been a while since the band played on a UK stage, and their fans are understandably excited.

Modern Baseball

Support act Sorority Noise are the perfect opener, shouting and screaming their way through the short set. When vocalist Cam Boucher opens up about his struggles with manic depression in the empowering ‘Using’, the crowd rightfully cheers in support, and welcomes the band to London with open arms.

Sorority Noise

Sorority Noise

Sorority Noise

Modern Baseball wander onto the stage, launching into the first two tracks from their last full length, ‘You’re Gonna Miss It All’. The first dozen rows immediately compress, and remain that way for the next hour, spitting lyrics back to the Philly band.

Modern Baseball

Naturally, it’s that album that gets the most air time tonight, and rightly so: ‘Rock Bottom’ and ‘Your Graduation’ get the biggest responses of the night, thanks to their refrains, designed to be relevant to this crowd of twenty-somethings. The band rushes through a couple of new tracks too, which will be available on the recently announced ‘Holy Ghost’ EP, and while they’re received well, they do serve as a welcome relief from all the movement down at the front.

Modern Baseball

The show’s sense of unadulterated fun comes not only from the ever-ready crowd, but also the band themselves, never standing still and constantly making wisecracks. In centre stage, Ian Farmer gives Kim Deal a run for her money in the smiliest-bassist stakes, and vocalist Jake Ewald interrupts the major singalong moments of ‘Tears Over Beers’ to joke about a phone being dropped in the pit. The crowd rarely know if they should be singing or laughing.

Modern Baseball

At times, it is disappointing that- at no fault of the band- the sound isn’t great in this venue. There is so much feedback on the rhythm guitar that at certain points it deafens the rest of the band, but the crowd barely notice, focussed on singing in the faces of friends and enjoying the moment.

Modern Baseball

They close with ‘The Weekend’, a much more intense version than on debut album ‘Sports’. As the band fool around onstage during instrumental sections, it becomes clear that, in giving their fans the most solid and joyous set possible, they too are having the time of their lives. You can’t ask for much more than that.

Modern Baseball

Modern Baseball

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