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Review: Manchester Orchestra at the Newport

Matt Ellis Matt Ellis Review: Manchester Orchestra at the Newport
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After a two and half year absence from Columbus, Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra returned to the Newport for a sold out show on Sunday night.

Opening the show were New Jersey punk-pop band “Front Bottoms”. Armed with an acoustic guitar and a bottle of champagne, front-man Brian Sella led the band through a set of high energy party anthems that had the youthful crowd singing along to every word.

It’s easy to see why this band is getting a lot of attention right now, their sophomore album “Talon of the Hawk” takes massive leaps forward in songwriting, giving the band greater depth and hints of what they may become – should they chose to grow up

It’s sad that honest rock music is in an unpopular slump these days as Manchester Orchestra should be one of the biggest bands on the planet. Opening with fan-favourite “Shake It Out” the band start out loud and raw and looking like they have something to prove. Front man Andy Hull belts out his intimate lyrics with passion while his band mates back him up with equal intensity.

The band played a collections of songs spanning their three albums to date plus a couple new songs. Each song joyously applauded by an enthusiastic Newport crowd. And while the slower songs dragged in places the louder songs drowned the venue in a wash of guitars and heart-pounding drums.

With the promise of a new album on the horizon it hopefully won’t be another two years before the band return. After all, this is the city the band sold the most copies of their last album, and after Sunday’s show it’s easy to see why the band are loved in this part of the world and proof that stripped-down honest rock and roll still has a place in this world.

Matt Ellis is a freelance photographer who covers bands that visit the city and the Columbus Crew MLS team. More about Matt can be found at Matt Ellis Photography.

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