Concert Review: Grayscale in Worcester, MA
Review & Photos by Deirdre Kelly
Philadelphia groovy-rock group Grayscale created a part two tour series promoting their latest album, Nella Vita, beginning in late January & going on for a solid month. Part two’s supporting acts were Lurk, WSTR & Hot Mulligan-- a musical smorgasbord, if you will. On February 26th, they were set to play the Palladium Upstairs in Worcester, Massachusetts. Although, I somehow ended up at their show in Brooklyn the previous night as well, I will only be covering details of this sold out New England performance.
Having already attended a few shows from Nella Vita Part 1, I was naturally curious as to how they would differ aside from the live support. Considering part one took place right as Nella Vita was being released, they had to ease their way into live renditions of the newer songs to give fans enough time to learn the lyrics & truly absorb the all-encompassing essence of Nella Vita. Part two dove right on in, embracing this new era. What was traditionally introduced as “Track One: Let It Rain” aged into “Track One: Just Right” and that’s exactly how they kicked off the set & dare I say it felt just right. The crowdsurfing did not stop there (or at all, for that matter) as they took us back to their sophomore record Adornment with “Slipping Away” creating an eruption of pent-up angst from every person in the room. As the fog from their production thickened, the crowd’s anticipation heightened only complementing the euphoric “Twilight (My Heaven)” where vocalist, Collin Walsh, showed off his tambourine skills while shamelessly dancing around during the bridge. The dancing commenced as a setlist staple throwback, “Palette” from first official release What We’re Missing, was passionately performed with the crowd claiming to also skip track 5 on that one Menzingers’ record. Shortly following, the song “Mum” began and cued the crowd to orchestrate a circle pit blatantly defying the lyrics “so sick of watching you running.” Before introducing the next song, Walsh shared his love for Massachusetts and how the band recorded their first EP there. Then came the famously requested fan-favorite “Echoes (Carry On)” earning an ecstatic response from the audience as bodies were being lifted to the stage left & right.
Then after, came a shift in the ambiance with the mellowed-out portion of the night, beginning with an acoustic rendition of the drum & bass-heavy track from Nella Vita, “What’s On Your Mind.” This musical adjustment gave the audience a more vulnerable perspective of the song. Next in the set and also on the record was the acoustic ballad, “Asbury,” evoking eyes brimming with tears and swaying back & forth to the melancholy tune. But oh no, the tears did not cease there as “Old Friends” was played shortly after with Walsh proclaiming mid-song to “tell the ones you love that you love them before it’s too late.” Wiping away the evidence of weeping, we were soon built back up with their uplifting anthem, “YOUNG.” With the colorful light production and each member of the band reciting the lyrics back into the crowd, you were truly immersed in the bliss of each performance. The bliss continued with “Painkiller Weather,” taking us back to late summer when it was released as their first single off of Nella Vita as fans shouted the lyrics with intense enthusiasm. Maintaining the summertime state-of-mind was the ebullient track “Desert Queen,” making sure to not neglect the unsung heroes of the new record.
One song that became one of my favorites to hear live from Grayscale is “In My Arms,” which was also performed during Part 1 & I honestly hope it will stay on the setlist for all parts to come. This eccentric tune somehow compels everyone in the audience to shake their hips. Scientists are still looking into what may cause this. Equally danceable, “Baby Blue” followed as the complementing lights painted the stage blue. Nearing the end, Walsh warns us members of the audience that there will be no encore, so it’s important to put all your energy in the last few songs, to which I imagine the entire room internally scoffed since their high-energy seemed completely unwavered. Thus cued the beloved single, “In Violet,” to which every person sang the chorus with everything in them; eyes closed, arms high. Shifting back into a more aggressive-gear, was “Fever Dream.” This pop punk anthem always seems to elicit an impressive amount of crowd-surfing and this night was not any different. Hands remained high as the final song “Atlantic” kicked off, as fans unabashedly recited the vocally exhausting song.
The night was filled with endless fun as per every Grayscale show. I have seen the band live now over twenty times & I can confidently say their shows never get old. Lucky for us, the Philadelphia rock group has no intention of stopping any time soon. Grayscale recently announced their support for pop punk summer festival, Sad Summer Fest, alongside All Time Low, The Maine, Movements & more. Before then, they’ll be opening for Mayday Parade across America while also doing some one-off headlining shows as well as traveling to Europe for various spring festivals & some headliners. So, if you haven’t seen them live yet… you’ll definitely have your chance this year!