Anytime the theme from Rocky is played, it is embedded in a special section of our hearts, mind, and soul, to know that following the iconic trumpet sounds of Bill Conti's brass section of "Gonna Fly Now," something big is going to happen. For Queens via Long Island punks Bayside, it was time for a hometown throwdown for fans that came from around the tri-state area for their current headlining tour's swan song. With the crowd screaming their lungs out in excitement as Bayside took the stage after 10p.m. on Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, walking out in front of a banner that mimics the cover of their latest record, Cult, and their speakers featuring the letters "C," "U," "L," "T." The band immediately broke into a number of tracks off Cult, and while most bands of their era, the early 2000's emo-punk scene that dominated college radio last decade, have remained popular, most fans want older material, yet, Bayside's own cult of fans screamed the words back to the band just as loud as some of their more known and classic tracks. The band, whose sound was so loud and raw, depending on where you were in the room, you could feel yourself shaking from the system cranking out what the band was playing. While the band played as loud as they could without sacrificing quality, the fans became the real stars of the show. At points it was as if singer Anthony Raneri wasn't needed thanks to the fans overpowering him as they sang the words to nearly every song they played. As a waterfall of fans would arrive on stage and dive off into the crowd, some giving Raneri high-fives, others pulling their pants down and mooning the crowd, it was entertainment galore. For the 90-minutes Bayside were on stage, the fan appreciation levels were through the roof. Nearly everyone in the room were filled with so much passion and love for this band, it was hard to not sit back and smile, even as a spectator.
Opening the show were local heroes I Am The Avalanche. The Brooklyn punk / post-hardcore band were the the perfect band to be touring with Bayside. Forming a decade ago, they are currently celebrating their 10th anniversary, which started this month, and the release of their new record, Wolverines. Thanks to their catchy, soccer-anthem style sing-a-long's, Avalanche had the crowd ready for what was to come.