Looking at the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, N.Y., you would not expect to see punk/ska band Streetlight Manifesto playing inside.
With its old-fashioned front located on Main Street, ornate decorations and tall ceilings, the theater looks more suited to host The Pirates of Penzance than the punks in Streetlight. But on Aug. 12, those punks rocked Rapids.
Engaging bands have always opened for Streetlight Manifesto, and this concert was no different. The first opening band was Rodeo Ruby Love, a six-piece pop/rock act with male and female vocalists and catchy, yet played-out songs.
New Riot followed with a loud, energy-infused set of U.K. punk rock akin to The Casualties and Rancid. Appreciative applause and cheers followed both bands.
A more joyful ska band, Reel Big Fish came on just before the main attraction. Frontman Aaron Barrett kept the crowd jumping and laughing with his combined musical and comedic talents.
By far the most memorable moment in RBF's set were the repeated renditions of "S.R. (The Many Versions Of)," which had the crowd dancing and going wild to the same song in over eight different styles. Anyone on the fence about the band definitely became fans after their set.
If anything can be said of a Streetlight Manifesto show, it has to be that no two shows are similar in any respect. Streetlight never plays a song the same way as they did on the album, or even in previous shows.
They rocked their way through such favorites as "A Better Place, A Better Time," "A Moment of Silence" and its violent counterpart, "A Moment of Violence." The band was so disciplined, they transitioned between songs seamlessly with each musician keeping pace perfectly and leaving no note lost in the mix.
The band toyed with songs right on stage, weaving the end of one into the beginning of another and treating the crowd to something new every minute. From start to finish, Streetlight Manifesto held the crowd's full attention, despite disturbances like a fight late in the show which frontman Tomas Kalnoky broke up personally, stopping in the middle of a song to do so.
The three song encore ended with "Somewhere in the Between," closing the amazing show with the thought that, "Someday soon, my friends, this ride will come to an end. But we can't just get in line again."