Brookside @ The Gathering Grounds, August 26th, 2004

I’ve missed Brookside once before due to the ending of my Junior year of college. I was still debating seeing them their second time here in Greencastle, but really decided to go after one of my friends wanted to do something with me. After getting into the town square, I was greeted by the bassist of The Goodlife, and I handed out some of the compilation CDs to individuals who had came to The Gathering Grounds for Brookside’s set. After all the publication and random IM messages I had received about the concert, I was a little shocked at the lackluster turnout – there were maybe fifty people tops at any one given time in the shop. I also realized I need to do more background information, specifically looking at individual pictures of the band before seeing them, as I dropped off a few copies of the compilation to the band without even knowing who they were.

After a quick set-up, Brookside assumed their positions on the stage. The in-house PA was fairly loud, but would provide some serious problems to Matt’s vocals. Too quiet on “Tonight Long Island”, the PA showed its limits when the band tried to turn up the vocal level, sounding echo-laden and mechanical. Brookside is innovative in the sense that most of their tracks are sung with only one vocalist, instead of the multi-voice assault that is so hard to capture correctly. Coming strong throughout the entire disc would have to be the seemingly-random and intense bass lines laid down by Jake. Instead of just following the line created by bands like Boys Night Out or Days Like These, Brookside doesn’t discriminate when it comes to influences, taking in acts like Uncle Tupelo and Lucero among so many others.

Brookside is another in the line of strong emo-rock bands that I have had the pleasure to see in the last few months. The Goodlife is hands-down the best in their area, just like They’ve Shot Flanigan and Brookside themselves. The bush league of emo-bands is just bristling with talent, and I have no doubt that one band will be able to make it sooner than later. For sheer originality, Brookside might have an edge, whether it be through the inspired bass line, hi-lo dual guitar attack, or clear and loud drums that taken together make one hell of a band. Staggering their set in such a way that allowed for their two newest tracks to be played first, Brookside shows that they have progressed leaps and bounds from “Silence As A Weapon” to “Tonight Long Island”. Hopefully The Ides will have the band play under a solid PA and in a much more proper setting than tonight, and we will get a proper idea about how impressive this band is!

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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