There are no venues in the Cleveland area that are quite like Lakewood’s homey little venue, Mahall’s. The historic bowling alley slash concert venue is known for its retro and intimate space, making it the perfect spot to host two of the scene’s most underrated players.
Pianos Become The Teeth and This World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die announced their massive trek across North America earlier this year. After months of waiting, Cleveland was able to get a taste of these two emo underground heroes on June 6.
While Queen Of Jeans were featured on the first leg of the tour, the last half featured the 90’s grunge-vibing trio of Teenage Wrist. Soon after the doors opened, the smooth chords of Teenage Wrist’s “Chrome Neon Jesus” filled the air, giving the room their first taste of the distorted and whimsical sound that’s a staple for the young group.
Speeding through lesser-known tracks, the band was able to capture the crowd’s attention on their last two songs, “Swallow” and “Stoned, Alone.”
As the crowd of 20-something’s swayed to the ambient rock songs of Teenage Wrist’s set, it was evident that these guys would be the ones to set the tone of the show. Which, as to be expected, was a unique blend of dreamy tracks and a high energy crowd.
Pianos Become The Teeth didn’t make their anxious fans wait too long. Starting the show without much of a warning, they jumped right into their jam-packed set with a newer track, “Charisma.”
The band gave a nod to both familiar and unfamiliar faces, keeping their set a blend of new and old songs. Commanding the stage, the group gave it their all, showing why they’ve had the longevity that most bands could only dream of achieving.
Between long songs, pounding bass vibrations and a dreamy light setup, the band’s set showed just how far they’ve come from earlier house shows. Perfecting their craft long ago, the band was able to keep the crowd invested in their deeper cuts and their most popular songs, sending off a raw emotion that only live shows can offer.
It’s rare that a band can send off an energy that says “this is where I belong.” Yet, as their hour-long set winded down, it was hard to imagine being anywhere other than the small space of Mahall’s main stage.
After finishing their set with “Say Nothing,” the band quickly made their exit off of the stage. Only one band was left and the energy from the crowd felt electric the longer the teardown and setup in-between the sets took.
The energy of the crowd didn’t die down as the minutes slowly ticked by, as a matter of fact, the slow passage of time only seemed to raise the overall energy of the room.
Just when the wait seemed to be too much, the lights of the venue dimmed and being met with a deafening applause, This World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die took the stage, immediately introducing the crowd to their signature dark indie sound.
Just like PBTT, the band featured songs from their impressive decade-long catalogue. Starting off strong with “I’ll Make Everything,” the band commanded the stage right from the start, only to fully charm the crowd a few songs in with a wailing delivery of some of their most emotional tracks.
Sounding as though they were playing their set from a record, TWIABP is one of the few groups that sounds the same live as they are on the album. The sextet delivered a genuine and raw performance, capturing the emotion that can be heard from every album thus far.
All in all, the show was something that left its mark on all of those in attendance. It’s clear to see why these two bands have had such success, and we highly recommend seeing this wonderful group of bands in the near future.
Pianos Become The Teeth and This World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die have a few more shows left on their co-headlining run. Check out the full list of the remaining cities and dates below!
6/12 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry
6/13 – Washington, DC @ Union Stage
6/14 – New York, NY @ Elsewhere
6/15 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
6/16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer