Photos and Review By: Tommy Dingus
On their inaugural visit to the nation’s capital, Balance and Composure headlined a floor-rattling party Wednesday night at DC9. The evening began innocently enough with opener, Daylight, starting to spread their grungy, plaid-laced tremors through the crowd. Sometimes the shockwaves made their way back to the stage, once in the form of a reveler who knocked Taylor Madison’s microphone back into his teeth. The singer carried on after a light reprimand.
Things continued to escalate when Los Angeles’ The Jealous Sound took the stage. The crowd was more familiar with their material and made lead singer Blair Shehan feel like he was in his living room. Shehan even initiated and accompanied a birthday sing-along to a young lady up front. His geniality combined with his honey-on-the-rocks voice made him an engaging entertainer. As much as the people loved him, though, his pleas to the audience to refrain from crowd-surfing during the headliner fell on newly deaf ears.
When it was time for the Doylestown, Pennsylvania quintet to hit the stage, the wave that had been building throughout the night finally came crashing down. Like the children at the water park that wait for the giant bucket of water to spill tons of water on them, this crowd was insatiable. The stage at DC9 seemed to be closing in around the band. The front row was pushing in from all sides. The more “rowdy” celebrants, as lead singer Jon Simmons called them were literally climbing the backs of the people in front of them to get a chance to sing back to the band. Spurred by Simmons’ ability to slide effortlessly between languorous and ferocious, Balance and Composure weaved their way through their full-length album, Separation, as well as the majority of their split with Tigers Jaw, and even some new material from another split with Braid, set for release next week. Bassist Matt Warner helped out teammate Bailey on the drums once in a while, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the frenzied guitar riffs coming from Andy and Erik, on each side of Simmons. This is the show you want to catch if you want to head bang just enough to question the integrity of an old building in DC, so congrats if you’re lucky enough to be one of the only four dates left on this tour.