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Friday, September 22, 2023


Concert Review: The Starting Line plays at Meridian before indefinite break

After three full length albums, two EPs and eight years of extensive touring, The Starting Line played what may be their last show in Houston on April 11.

The band announced last month it would embark on one more headline tour, Somebody’s Gonna Miss Us, before going on an indefinite hiatus.

Singer/bassist Kenny Vasoli is moving on to a new project titled Person L, while two other members, guitarist Matt Watts and drummer Tom Gryskewicz, are moving onto a group called The Seventy Six.

New and old fans alike filled the Meridian to be treated to a massive hour and a half set. The Starting Line wasted no time as they kicked off the set with "Greg’s Last Day," a song from their 2001 EP With Hopes of Starting Over.

The set included hits spanning their 8-year career, covering fan favorites from their staple album Say It Like You Mean It such as "Leaving" and "A Goodnight’s Sleep," along with "Inspired by the $" and "Ready" from Based On a True Story and "Something Left to Give" and "Island" off of their latest album, Direction.

The group sounded as good and played with as much energy as they did in 2001, bringing back all of the nostalgia that came with their earlier shows.

After their set ended, they were called back for an encore, in which they dedicated a special song to the crowd and the city titled "Hello Houston." The band closed their set with their biggest single to date, "The Best of Me."

Steel Train, fellow east coast natives and former label-mates, opened the show to a semi-interested crowd. Their set included a rousing cover of the Smashing Pumpkins hit "1979," along with songs off of their latest release Trampoline.

Other openers included Four Year Strong, a group that sounds like Fall Out Boy on steroids, complete with double bass pedals and cheesy hardcore riffs. The band ignited the young fans to start moshing and engage in other reckless behaviors. Surprisingly, a good amount of people actually liked this band and some sang along.

Bayside followed with an energetic and entertaining set. They played songs from all three of their full lengths albums, but most of the set list consisted of songs from their 2007 album The Walking Wounded. They even played "Masterpiece," one of their biggest songs off of their stellar debut, Sirens and Condolences.

Overall, the show was a hasty, albeit bittersweet end to a career that would have had several good years and plenty of great songs ahead of them. In any case, one would only hope to see this band get back together in the future, as opposed to taking the kind of ‘indefinite hiatus’ Blink-182 agreed to in 2005.

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