LIVE: Motion City Soundtrack at Heaven, London [17/09/12]

By Lais

Minneapolis based pop-punkers Motion City Soundtrack have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the last year, in part due to their relatively well received release ‘Go’, and owing to their energetic live performances at two high-profile album shows and Slam Dunk appearances.

This energy that has become synonymous with the quintet over the past decade is considerably minimised by Now, Now taking their post as main support in tonight’s underground venue. Although the female fronted indie trio appear to be a questionable choice of warm-up act, there exists a distinct authenticity due to their selection by the headline act. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea but lead vocalist Cacie Dalanger commands a haunting presence over the venue. The band saunter through a handful of mesmerising melodies which fall somewhere between mainstream indie and the experimental – The Postal Service meets Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The diminished force delivered by the outfit fails to truly engage the entire audience; nevertheless there is sufficient delicacy in the composition and performance to remain staggeringly beautiful. Both Delanger and Abbott appear at ease while in mid-song; a stark contrast to their awkward and nervous crowd interaction. Fortunately this serves to enhance the whimsical nature of tonight’s performance.

From the moment Motion City Soundtrack take to the stage there is little memory of the quiet and reserved atmosphere in the room during the previous performance. Immediately throwing themselves into ‘Worker Bee’ from 2010’s ‘My Dinosaur Life’, the energy surges to maximum level. This energy emanates from both the stage and the audience, remaining incredibly high from the first note until the close of ‘Hold Me Down’; some eighteen tracks later.

The set is filled with a selection of tracks across their back-catalogue, including crowd favourites ‘A Lifeless Ordinary’, ‘Make Out Kids’ and the inevitable combination of ‘Everything Is Alright’ and ‘The Future Freaks Me Out’. Surprisingly it is choices from the most recent album which sound the biggest in a live environment, with ‘Son of a Gun’ providing seriously boisterous moments and ‘True Romance’ almost taking the roof off. These tracks, which sound more serious on record, have clearly been written with this type of environment in mind.

Justin Pierre is clearly moved by tonight’s reaction as the crowd bellow out the songs at a higher volume than that flowing from the PA system. Motion City Soundtrack have spent the last few months at the top of their game, and by tonight’s performance it is difficult foreseeing any change.