But they'd have to wait for the headliner. In less-than-impressive fashion, The Status kicked off Sunday night’s show by playing the same song at least nine times. Simple power chords and bass lines coupled with monotonous drum beats yielded an easy-listening pop punk band. Something better left listening to a CD, not at a rock show.
After the endless plugs to buy their merchandise and hunger for crowd support, The Status saved its most popular song, “Perfect Day,” for the blasé grand finale. After making “first time playing Reno” and snide, somewhat clever remarks about spending the rest of their night gambling, the band slinked off the stage. Good riddance — out of sight and mind.
After the train wreck that was The Status, members of Four Years Strong stormed the stage all displaying full beards. From their first song they ignited the crowd with a stark change in sound from their predecessor, using intricate guitar leads and unleashing double bass mayhem. With the addition of a synthesizer, the stage exploded with music.
When a band can make you forget, even for one second, that the highly anticipated Bayside is going to play later in the show, you know that band is doing something right. That night, Four Years Strong was giving people amnesia.
When Straylight Run got to the stage, it was evident that this was quite the eclectic night. Substituting the small synthesizer for a full-sized bright red keyboard, the band casually graced the crowd with their presence.
The first song started off with a bang when the lead singer John Nolan yelled “ALIGHT!” beginning the melodic, slow-moving set. Both Nolan and bassist Shaun Cooper were once members of the rock band Taking Back Sunday. Throughout the night Nolan disappointed by squeaking out the high notes but Cooper recovered the set by showing entrancing bass lines. Complex flows that a novice could never write fit perfectly with the slow drum beats.
While Straylight Run made a mediocre attempt at taking fans minds off Bayside, they were unable to prevent the riot that was about to ensue.
It seemed like it took forever for the four individuals dubbed Bayside to appear on stage. But at the first sight of the lead singer Anthony Raneri’s boyish smirk the crowd started screaming and chanting with pent-up excitement.
After slamming out the first note Bayside never let the energy down for the rest of the night. With such energy the band took special interest in the crowd’s well-being and asked if everyone was all right or needed special attention.
Small venues have their ups and their downs. The ups are being arms-length away from rock idols. The downs are the concert pasttime of crowd surfing, which ended with large men falling on Bayside band members and their guitar foot pedals, which obviously angered Raneri.
Later Raneri said that if the crowd wanted to crowd surf to be careful not to hit people, yet he said it was OK for surfers to fall on top of him.
The band’s set easily pleased any new Bayside cult member but it surprised old fans with the song selection, with songs like “Kellum” and “Alcohol and Alter Boys” from “Sirens and Condolences” all the way up to their newest single “Duality.”
Another new aspect which excited many was the acoustic part of the show. Raneri decided to “take it down a notch” and play “Don’t call me Peanut” off of the band's self-titled album and their “Bayside: acoustic” album. Everyone sang the ballad so loud that Raneri stepped away from the mic to hear the crowd’s roaring voices. The song morphed into something else when Raneri ushered the rest of the band into a usually mellow acoustic song.
Different variations of songs and pairing visual to audio are the point of live shows. Bayside did all this and more, leaving a long-lasting impression and urge to buy their CDs for the people new to their music.