Manchester Orchestra ride an artistic breakthrough, Tigers Jaw transcend their origins

by

THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Manchester Orchestra and Tigers Jaw, House of Blues, Sep. 5
Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues
It’s been practically an entire lifetime – or at least a significant career cycle – since I last saw Manchester Orchestra just over a decade ago at the Florida Music Festival. Since those nascent days, the Atlanta band have gone from scrappy though sometimes unoriginal and schizophrenic upstarts to an accomplished act of real range.
Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues
Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues
The band have cited their recent high-profile soundtrack work on the Daniel Radcliffe-starring movie Swiss Army Man as a pivotal experience. That level of musical setting has apparently imbued their new band work with an extraordinary sense of structure and drama. On their latest album released just over a month ago, A Black Mile to the Surface, this newfound magic has given their often scattered ambitions the superpowers of coherence, constitution and overarching purpose. With everything now in synchronicity, the result is a set of focused and incredibly cultivated songs that looms and evokes like a mountain range. It’s a widescreen sound that can scale heights that steal the breath, especially live.
Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues
Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues
Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues
With a watershed degree of maturity and decision, Manchester Orchestra are a band that have really, finally, come into their own artistically. And they’ve crystallized into such a thing of true sonic and emotional majesty that the experience of both this show and this new album is like checking back in on an iffy house plant only to discover it had grown into a redwood.
Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues
Pennsylvania openers Tigers Jaw are a band looking to transcend their own origins of emo and pop-punk. Those are two genres that can breed some intense fidelity, and your allegiance to either of them may well dictate your reception of where this evolving act is now. But if you can see beyond, you’ll be able to conceive of the full potential of their ringing, tender rock.
Tigers Jaw at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Tigers Jaw at House of Blues
The very idea of applying mainstream shine to fare that’s already sentimental seems dubious. But when you’re a band with the natural pop aptitude and tight balance of Tigers Jaw, it makes perfect, and possibly next-level, sense. And they proved it on this first night of a monthlong touring run with Manchester Orchestra. Onstage, they delivered a full, streamlined indie-rock sound of affecting melodies, measured feeling and dimensional keyboard-expanded instrumentation with clarity and cogency.
Tigers Jaw at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Tigers Jaw at House of Blues
Tigers Jaw at House of Blues - CARLO CAVALUZZI
  • Carlo Cavaluzzi
  • Tigers Jaw at House of Blues
Only the genre diehards can forever be satisfied with the same old guitars and feels. But with a centered and anchored melodic core that doesn’t need to try so hard to punch above its weight, Tigers Jaw’s anthems ride and penetrate with intrinsic ease without having to squeeze out their heart like a tired, old lemon. It’s an approach that at least offers a viable vision beyond just the emo revival.

P.S. Be safe, Florida.

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This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

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Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com



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