Concert Review: The Orwells w/ SKATERS
Between the hours of 8 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Monday night, A&R Music Bar quickly converted from a quiet, grungy rock bar, to rabid, uncontrollable and one hell of a good time. Young acts, SKATERS and The Orwells, occupied the same venue in Columbus for the second time since 2014’s CD102.5 Day Side A. Memories from that show continue to linger, as the boys had quite the rambunctious and devious attitudes during that visit. SKATERS and The Orwells shared the venue as if it was their playground in elementary school. Orwells lead singer, Mario Cuomo, had used his microphone as a pair of nunchucks, and whipped the microphone in the air in rapid circles, livening the crowd beyond comprehension. After such a memorable show, it was a mystery to what the duo would bring to their A&R Bar show together….
8:30 p.m. – SKATERS
The energy was bursting at the seams of anticipation for SKATERS to take the stage. The limited-spaced venue was packed like sardines, attendees spilling onto the outside patio. The crowd bellowed and hollered, welcoming the young five-piece to their platform. With greasy hair, leather jackets and suspenders, the boys embodied careless rock ‘n’ roll.
Immediately into their set, heads were slamming and rock-‘n’-roll-hand-signs were punching through the air, the young crowd dancing like it was an Iggy Pop show circa 1977. SKATERS played the opening riff of “Deadbolt,” and the screaming females complimented Michael Ian Cummings on vocals.
Cumming’s leather jacket came off, as the venue’s humidity and temperament began to resemble a sauna. The show continued with tracks off their 2014 release, Manhattan, the crowd screaming and head thrusting to each and every track. Thrown among a moshing pit of twenty-something dancers, I lost myself in the punk-rock melodies of the young New York-ers.
As the set was coming to a close, I attempted to calm my racing heart and stunt my profusely active sweat glands. Without a break from their second-to-last song, I recognized a classic, angsty melody erupting from the guitarist’s amp. Cunningham begins belting the bitter lyrics to “Kiss Off,” by the Violent Femmes, serving as the catalyst for a severly out-of-control crowd. The set came to a close, with exhausted smiles from one face to the next.
After the opening band’s performance, I was curious to how the crowd was going to hold up.
9:45 – The Orwells
It’s no mystery the young men like to party — despite the fact the boys are under 21. Lead singer, Mario Cuomo, has quickly earned his legacy for his careless attitude and signature style. Cuomo’s split blonde-and-brown hair and goofy Hawaiian shirt shed light on his kooky personality, which quickly entertained the crowd post SKATERS set.
Cuomo welcomed the audience with his screaming, belting vocals, amp-ing the crowd for what would be a physically exhausting show. As the security guards began floating around, the crowd surfing began, and the mosh pit gained intensity after each and every track. With verbal banter between each song, Cuomo and his four bandmates were thrilled to be in Columbus, and didn’t cease to mention the memories of their last visit — getting kicked out of the LC. Cuomo’s continuous “Ohio” chant quickly morphed into unrecognizable mumbles, as he screamed in unison with the crowd.
The Orwells made way through their 2014 release, Disgraceland, and the crowd continued to enable Cuomo in his fearless behavior. After countless mosh-pitters made way through the crowd, multiple band members plummeted into the sea of hands, letting the crowd surf them for as long as we could keep them afloat. The band’s energy and quality of sound only continued to increase throughout the set, leaving the crowd desperate for more and more and more. Complimentary to SKATERS, The Orwells decided to close the evening with a cover, and chose the loudest, most guitar heavy song they could muster– “Cheap Bear” by Fidlar.
Fidlar fans are fans of The Orwells and Orwells fans are fans of SKATERS. It’s a brotherhood we cannot understand, but we can choose to be a part of.
Well, the crowd had been bitten with a bug, and there was nothing to be done as The Orwells finished their encore with utmost intensity. “I drink cheap beer, so what, fuck you,” was chanted what seemed hundreds of times, and the pit resembled a WWE wrestling match.
After two incredibly energetic, loud, and garage/punk rock performances, the crowd couldn’t have been more pleased, and the bands looked as if they had enjoyed themselves and Columbus equally as much.