The first time I saw The Midway State live was at the Indies this past March. Their performance was exciting, but expected considering their kind of music. Their next performance at Wakestock showed me what they were like in front of a live audience made up of more than older people who probably don’t listen to their music. This ramped it up for me and let me see how they interact with a crowd. Let me tell you, forget number eleven, because The Midway State just cranked the amp up to twelve.
The boys entered the stage in a typical fashion and to thunderous applause, but their performance was anything but ordinary. A few songs were played, heavier on the drums and guitar than usual, a theme that was much appreciated considering the typical lightheartedness of the group’s performances. The Midway State got edgy, and they did it while keeping their music, beliefs, and sound intact. Rougher, grittier, and just plain thumpier (yep, I said thumpier), the band got the crowd into a groove that was only made powerful by their number one hit.
A few songs into their set, the band, Michael Wise, Michael Kirsh, and Daenen Bramberger, played background music while Nathan ramped-up the audience, pitting one side against the other in a battle of the “Oooooohs”. The music got louder and louder, and slowly but surely, it built up until the only thing that could happen was for everything to go silent. At which point Nathan played the ever-familiar opening keys to Never Again, the group’s hit single. The moment was perfectly executed and was a purely orchestral, cinematic moment. This moment, was probably one of my favourite of any live show I’ve ever been to. Ever.
The moment eventually subsided, but I don’t think a single person forgot how it went off. With absolute precision, these guys stunned the audience with their music, the goal of any musician, I’m sure.
Nathan even managed to do it again with their other hit Change For You, although in an appropriately more subdued fashion given the nature of the song. Seemingly playing a completely different tune, it flowed perfectly into one of the crowd’s favourite songs. See it for yourself at this YouTube link.
Eggplante will have an interview with The Midway State sometime very soon in the New Year, and it will surely be around for your viewing (and listening) pleasure. In the meantime, check out some of these pretty incredible pictures of the show. When you’re done, head on over to Twitter and follow Eggplante (@eggplante) and of course our friends at The Midway State (@nathan_midway) for all their news, concerts, and video blogs.