It’s almost not fair that one record label can have so many great bands. Run For Cover Records has one of the strongest rosters in the indie-rock world now. Just about every band that put out a record on RFC ended up becoming one of the must-hear artists of the year. To name a few, Nothing, Crying, Pinerove and Modern Baseball each put out highlight albums this year, and on December 14th, they were all in the same building. In addition to this year’s big names, Petal, Alex G, and mewithoutYou all had hit records last year. When they announced a one-day festival that’s only their artists, it’s hard to turn down a ticket. The inaugural Something in the Way fest was truly a special evening for the label and its fans.
Entering the building late, Petal was wrapping up her set in Webster Hall’s Marlin Room. Having seen her play to a small niche of people at SUNY New Paltz, she was so deserving to be playing to a full room. “Heaven” is much more explosive live. It’s much more a rock song than just a power-ballad, but it’s easy to confuse it on the record. Kiley Lotz continues to be one of the best vocalists in this scene, and it really shows as she belts “Heaven” to close out shows.
Nicole Dollanger drew a much larger crowd than expected, especially since her set overlapped with Petal and Citizen. She has a very relaxed way of commanding the stage, and it’s nice, to say the least. Dollanger was getting the audience ready for Pinegrove, one of the must-see bands on the bill. The basement of Webster Hall was so crowded that people stood on the stairs just to see Pinegrove. Whoever decided the layout really fucked up when they put Pinegrove down there, but it was amazing to be able to hear “Old Friends” in such a small, packed room. While Pinegrove played to a packed house, it seemed like a good time to go and get a good spot for Nothing’s set, and they did not disappoint. Nothing’s huge sound is perfectly fit for grand ballrooms. The band brought so much energy to what I thought would be a relatively laid back set. Between moshes and snuck in cigarettes, Nothing was one of the highlights of the night.
After Nothing, it seemed fitting to just walk around and see what other stages had to offer. The Studio was packed for Alex G so I didn’t even try. I caught a little bit of mewithoutYou’s set, but decided to try to secure a spot for MoBo’s set, forgetting about Basement.
Basement is difficult to get into. There’s nothing very offensive about their music, but their success is kind of confusing. So many of the artists on smaller stages or with shorter set times probably could have provided a more interesting set during Basement’s time. That being said, they drew a large crowd who did seem to really enjoy their set.
Very shortly after Basement was Run for Cover’s largest artist on their roster, Modern Baseball. The band has been touring relentlessly since May’s release of Holy Ghost. This is not the band that headlined in the Marlin Room in 2014. Like each band on the bill, Modern Baseball were eternally grateful for everything Run For Cover had done for them. The set had a fair amount of songs from Holy Ghost that were well-received. “The Wedding Singer” and “Just Another Face” are excellent openers and closers, but the crowd seemed most responsive to hits from Sports and You’re Gonna Miss It All. “Fine, Great,” “Rock Bottom,” and “The Weekend” were probably the best received since they were mostly absent on the band’s most recent stint opening for Brand New. MoBo still know how to have fun though, as the final song played Jake Ewald let someone else rip through his solo during “Your Graduation.” Strangers through their arms around each other, people cried, everyone giggled, and Modern Baseball is still one of the best bands not just in the pop-punk world but of rock music in general.