Since springing back to life just a few years ago after a near decade-long split, Massachusetts alt/emo outfit Piebald have been keeping intermittently active, undertaking a small run of festival and tour dates, where they’ve been met with enthusiasm and nostalgia for their criminally underrated original run from the late ’90s to late ’00s, which saw them flirt with mainstream success, but ultimately never quite reach the recognition of some of their peers. We caught one of their earliest shows back at Atlanta’s Wrecking Ball in 2016, and have been hoping ever since that the band might eventually make their way to Music City for the first time in many years. We’re thrilled that that will finally happen tonight, Feb. 1 at The Basement East, for a show that features local support from longtime site faves Waterfall Wash and pop punk newcomers Through the Motions. Whether you’re nostalgic for the early days of ’00s emo and the golden era of Warped Tour, or a fan who fell into Piebald after they’d already split, we urge you not to miss this performance, since there’s no telling when or if the band might be back in Nashville. Tickets are available right here while they last, and you can read on for more about the show below!
One of several criminally underrated bands of the late ’90s and early ’00s emo and pop punk scene to reunite in recent years, Boston’s Piebald spent almost a decade largely dormant since disbanding in 2008, save for one reunion show at Bamboozle in 2010 (which this writer saw and loved), before remerging in 2016 for some tour dates and a spot at Atlanta’s Wrecking Ball (where we last saw them in action), with only a handful of festival appearances in the years since. As far as reunions go, they lie somewhere between the bands so huge that fans never stopped begging, and bands who largely lived below the radar in their day, but found fame posthumously, with a clear wave of renewed interest and lingering nostalgia evident from their sustained activity. Formed in 1994 and originally aligned with the Boston hardcore scene, the group cemented their lineup and began adopting a sound more influenced by the alternative, indie, and emo movement of their time, touring nonstop and becoming a fixture of the thriving underground scene at the turn of the millennium. After an early amount of DIY success despite a few setbacks, Piebald found widespread acclaim with their 2002 sophomore album, We Are the Only Friends You Have, fueled by radio and MTV staple “American Hearts,” which remains their most enduring and best known track. Even with buzzworthy rising acts like My Chemical Romance, Minus the Bear, and Fairweather supporting on the road, along with stints on beloved tours like Warped Tour, Piebald seemed to exist just ahead of their time, and dissolved as the scene hit a period of identity crisis towards the end of the ’00s. Since then, old fans have become nostalgic and a new generation has discovered them, making the atmosphere primed for Piebald’s latest chapter, which, so far, has only included three new Christmas themed tunes, but, if they continue to remain active, will hopefully lead to more. Their early reunion show four years ago was an absolute blast, and there’s no telling when or if they’ll be back in Nashville ago, so if this show piques your interest whatsoever, we urge you not to miss it!
One of our favorite bands since their (and our) earliest days, eclectic local outfit Waterfall Wash are a group we’ve watched grow and evolve into one of the local rock scene best and most dependable staples. Always open to genre experimentation, the group’s early years and first EP, 2015’s (now largely unavailable) Foreign Chords, took on a folkier bent, albeit with unique instrumentation and persistent pop accessibility. By 2016 mixtape Married to the Sound and their last EP, 2017’s Become What You See, however, the band, whose lineup has evolved as well, had taken on a fuzzy, lo-fi, synth infused indie pop sound, incorporating big hooks, layered melody, and even pulling from elements of math rock and pop punk to hone a unique and experimental, yet pleasantly approachable style (a shift that has also changed the type of bands they tend to perform with, making this pairing with Piebald a pretty fitting one, though it wouldn’t have made as much since with their earlier tunes). We know that the band have been working on new material, even running a successful crowdfunding campaign to help with the recording on their debut LP, but aside from 2018’s “Chris” and last year’s “Colors,” an inspired reimagining of the band’s very first song, there’s no word on when we can expect it, though we strongly suspect you’ll hear some new tunes in their set. Always a local favorite, if you’ve somehow made it this far without seeing Waterfall Wash live, don’t sleep on their set!
THROUGH THE MOTIONS
Local emo and pop punk inspired trio Through the Motions only recently landed on our radar, but with the release of their strong debut, Escape Route, last fall, they’re definitely a band we’re keeping an eye on. It’s clear that this group grew up on the scene that Piebald was originally apart of, and though their sound is so heavily influenced by ’00s pop punk that it’s sometimes indistinguishable from that era, there’s still a modern flair in their production and approach that should resonate with younger fans too. As support for a reunited band like Piebald, they’re a perfect choice, and a very good reason to show up early.
Piebald, Waterfall Wash, and Through the Motions will perform tonight, Feb. 1 at The Basement East. The show is 18+, begins at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $20.