Fans as enthusiastic as Frank Iero’s are hard to come by. In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to go to a show and find yourself in a crowd of people who are genuinely excited about the band they’re about to watch, giving the musicians on stage their undivided attention. Usually, the concert-goers snap a couple of quick photos on their phone for a quick instagram post about “how much fun they had” and give the band a few claps and halfhearted woo’s and they’re on their way. The crowd at The Marquis Theatre on Thursday night, however, was a rare exception.
I knew I was in for a special night when the first band, Modern Chemistry, took the stage, much to the excitement of the crowd. Right off the bat, Modern Chemistry’s overall tone was more mellow and laid back than I had been expecting, with a bit of a punk twist, and I was pleasantly surprised. The band was great at feeding off of the crowd’s energy, providing a great opening while keeping fans captivated throughout their entire set.
Following Modern Chemistry was the entity known as The Homeless Gospel Choir. Being only one man and an acoustic guitar, I was interested to see how Derek Zanetti would fare in between two full bands. Needless to say, The Homeless Gospel Choir met and exceeded both mine and the crowd’s expectations. With smart lyrics and enough emotion and sass for an entire band, Zanetti had complete control over the crowd. Starting every single song with a simple, “This is a protest song,” he dove right into fast-paced acoustic guitar work and snappy lyricism that not only made fans laugh, but made them think. By the end of his set, the crowd was hanging on his every word, and they were bound to walk away from the show with a new favorite one man band.
After The Homeless Gospel Choir, anticipation hung heavy in the air. It was almost the moment that everyone was waiting for, and the mood in the room seemed to change from mellow and laid back from the first two acts to anxious and excited for frnkiero andthe cellabration to take the stage. And by the time the lights dimmed, the entire venue erupted into applause.
Musically, frnkiero andthe cellabration were incredible. Having seen their set back in September of last year at Riot Fest, I thought I knew what to expect, but they absolutely managed to blow any of my expectations out of the water. It seems that this band was made to play intimate clubs to excited and faithful fans, rather than huge festival stages to people who have never heard of them before - and that’s totally okay. The raw energy that not only Iero, but the rest of his band puts forth, translates perfectly in a smaller venue, with fans pressed up against the stage and singing along every word.
The set wasn’t without a few hiccups, though. A few times, Iero did have to remind fans that he was “a little busy” and couldn’t sign autographs while he was on stage. Those little bumps aside, however, the show went off without a hitch. By the time the band played their single, “Joyriding,” the crowd seemed to explode. Everyone was jumping around and screaming the lyrics along with the band. A few songs later, I was surprised to hear the band sliding into a cover of LeATHERMOUTH’s (Iero’s old project) “Sunsets Are For Muggings.” While not as many fans were familiar with the song, there were absolutely a few die-hard fans that were singing along, and Iero was sure to point it out with a smile on his face.
Throughout the night, it was safe to say that not only frnkiero andthe cellebration, but all three acts fed off of the crowd’s energy and enthusiasm, and by the time the show was over, the fans and the bands left the venue feeling fulfilled.