Murder by Death have just begun to tour for their new album, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, by supporting pop-punk troop, Say Anything. It's an interesting combo and Murder by Death certainly come off as the runt of the tour line-up. However, they managed to pack their set with more fast paced befitting tracks from their catalog for the Say Anything fans.
I missed Tallhart, but made it just in time to catch Ohio's, The Sidekicks. I've been keeping an eye on this band since I heard their side of a split they did with Tigers Jaw. Not to mention, the band's been receiving more attention this year with their critically acclaimed, Awkward Breeds. It was nice to finally see them perform. They put on a fun and energetic set, and the crowd seemed to be into it.
Next up were Murder by Death. It wouldn't be my first time seeing them as a supporting band, but they were a bit more out of place on this tour. They opened their set with the new single, "I Came Around." I thought it was a solid introduction to the crowd of people who had never heard the band before. Much of their set consisted of singles and new tracks--following up with "Ball & Chain" and "Sometimes the Line Walks You (including the "Radar Love" interlude)." I don't know if it was the acoustics or them, but it sounded like they were a little off at first. They tightened things up as the set went on.
Frontman, Adam Turla, attempts to get a little crowd participation going as he introduces the next song, "The Curse of Elkhart." He demonstrates how the audience can get involved by singing the backing wails sung during the chorus. Fortunately the crowd decided to join in. Murder by Death then broke out Red of Tooth and Claw's lead single, "Fuego" before jumping into Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon's ardent track, "Hard World." Turla announced that they hadn't played the song very often, but I hope they get a bit more attached to it as it's a great song in a live setting and bound to become a fan-favorite. They continue to promote their new album with "Straight at the Sun" before jumping back to In Bocca Al Lupo's classic, "Brother."
Up until now, Murder by Death have ignored half their catalog. They decided to go back to Who Will Survive... for one track and play "Until Morale Improves, The Beatings Will Continue." It's not much of a surprise that they pulled Like the Exorcist tracks out of their set, although it would have been nice to hear "I'm Afraid of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe." Surprisingly though, they hadn't played a single track off their last record, Good Morning, Magpie. Just before they reach the end of their set, they play one more off Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon--"My Hill." It wasn't a song I expected them to play for the pop-punk crowd, but they didn't seem to be turned off by it. Even if they were, I'm sure they were brought back when they closed the set with "Comin' Home."
It was a solid set of songs that really get the point across of what Murder by Death are about. It would have been nice to see them stray away just a bit from singles, but there's no misunderstanding over why they didn't. Even without the theatrics of a headlining set, Murder by Death still put on an entertaining show. I hope they acquired some more fans and will continue to pick up more on the road. Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, is out now (you can check out our review HERE). Pick it up. Learn the songs, and join them on tour and have a great time!
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