Concert review: Better Lovers w/ Greyhaven, Foreign Hands, and SeeYouSpaceCowboy | 04.19.24, Off Broadway (with photo gallery)

Photo of Better Lovers by Holly Kite

As I put off editing by doom scrolling TikTok, a timely video pops up from Buffalo-based supergroup Better Lovers. It’s a photo of guitarist Jordan Buckley jumping into the front row of the sold-out St. Louis crowd while the text reads, “POV: You’re front row at a Better Lovers show” and the popular Keith David “Welcome to hell motherfuckers!” meme is superimposed. While some might call it hell, I happen to love a no barricade show. There is always so much more energy in the venue. Of course, a great lineup is essential to carrying that energy and this one was stacked.

Progressive post-hardcore band Greyhaven kicked off the evening with a proper balance of fast-paced melody to get the crowd moving. Their sound is filled with captivating hooks, soaring choruses and crushing riffs that support the conceptual themes of Greyhaven’s lyrics.

This was my second time catching Delaware-based Foreign Hands. They played in 2022 at Red Flag with Counterparts and SeeYouSpaceCowboy (SYSC), who is also on this show’s bill. The five-piece band storms the stage and starts calling for the crowd to get involved, they oblige with two-stepping and a rowdy circle pit. We get a taste of SYSC singer Connie Sgarbossa’s vocals as she joins the stage for the final songs of the set.

Taking the stage and calling out everyone in the crowd with pointed fingers to get the fuck up and move is definitely one way to command the room, and See You Space Cowboy (SYSC) is that band. Everyone rushed the stage to scream lyrics right back at Sgarbossa as she worked the stage delivering powerful roundhouse kicks, melodies, and screams reminiscent of the early 2000s metalcore scene. A multi-vocalist approach brings another dimension to SYSC’s sound, as guitarist Ethan Sgarbossa, bassist Taylor Allen, and drummer AJ Tartol join in while holding down their own sections.

The lights dim and a lengthy medley of songs containing the word love begins playing before picking up speed and stopping. Cue the chaos that is Better Lovers. You simply cannot be a bystander during this set—the band and crowd demand that you engage. Vocalist Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan), is known for his performance antics and climbed over the crowd multiple times throughout the evening, joined by Buckley (Every Time I Die) and bassist, Stephen Micciche (Everytime I Die) towards the end of the set. All the while delivering punchy riffs, quality vocals and steady rhythms. I’m excited to see the trajectory of this band. Don’t miss them if given the chance! | Holly Kite

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