Halftime Leisure

Voice at Landmark: Manchester Orchestra

September 29, 2015


Hard Rock are two words that undoubtedly describe Manchester Orchestra. The Atlanta-based band brought tremendous energy to their early afternoon performance on day two of Landmark Music Festival.

Filled with hanging power chords and an earth-shaking bass drum, the band’s powerful show was probably best exemplified by keyboardist/percussionist Chris Freeman, who consistently shook his head so hard it looked likely to fall off.

The incredible energy of the band’s performance had both good effects and bad. On one hand, feeling your body shake from guitar, bass, and drums is an exciting and refreshing experience as opposed to a mellow Spotify listen on your computer. Many fans definitely felt this way, as a number of them were dancing and jumping up and down. A short-lived mosh pit even sparked up midway through the show.

Unfortunately, a large number of fans seemed turned off by the constant nature of Manchester’s high energy. Lead vocalist Andy Hull occasionally produced some metal-esque screams, something that was definitely too intense for a general music festival crowd. Additionally, the times when the band played more quietly were too infrequent to calm down the constantly powerful performance, which is a shame because these calmer occasions sounded great. Under better structuring, the performance would’ve definitely benefitted from more of them.

For fans of hard rock and generally high energy music, Manchester Orchestra was surely a great experience. Credit to them for sticking to their music and not playing to the more general crowd. Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but feel as though this simultaneously isolated the crowd l from what the band had to offer, making their performance an average to mediocre one at best.

Jon Block
Jon was podcast editor, Halftime leisure editor, and Halftime sports editor for the Voice. You can follow him on Twitter @jon_block_ but not on Instagram because he doesn't have one.

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