Article by Tessa Weyer
Photos by Santiago Medellin
Covington, Kentucky got the chance to experience a fantastic performance by the alternative rock band, Grayscale, at Madison Live on October 29th. Grayscale was formed in 2011 and consists of members Collin Walsh, Andrew Kyne, Dallas Molster, and Nick Veno. The group is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and have been on an 8 week long tour around the United States, closing out in our local Cincinnati area. I personally had never heard of the band or any of their songs prior to the concert, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the night at all. I had a really great time seeing the band, as well as their openers, perform and I will definitely be seeing Grayscale perform when they go on tour again. Whether you previously knew about the band or not, I highly recommend checking out one of their shows when you get the chance.
First off, the band As It May gave a short performance as the first opening act. Their songs had an alternative, emo sound to them with the lead singer using a mix of screaming and singing throughout the set. While their music wasn’t necessarily to my taste, I could still appreciate the different elements of their performance like the guitarist’s and dummer’s talents as well as the lead singer’s vocals. All in all, their show was enjoyable and it was a great way to kick off the night.
The second opening band, Better Anyway, was much more my style and absolutely killed it during their show. While they initially had some technical difficulties when setting up, the slight delay became worth the wait as soon as they got into their performance. The energy exuded from the entire band, especially the lead singer and the guitarist, was amazing from the second they started playing the first song of their set, and it immediately got everyone hyped up. They had the whole room moving with the music, even the people that weren’t necessarily there to see them, like me. Their style of music is characterized as alternative pop punk, and it had a somewhat nostalgic, 2000s feel to it. The lead singer, Nick Burkhard’s, vocals stole the show as they were shown off to their fullest in every song the band performed. My personal favorite song of the night was More Than a Memory, and I added that to my playlist as soon as they finished performing. My friend, Santi Medellin, (who took the photos for this concert) and I even got the chance to talk to a couple of the band members and show them some pictures he took when they came out into the crowd after their show, and they were super friendly! Better Anyway is fairly local as they come from Dayton, Ohio, so if you’re ever in the mood to take a quick trip north, I urge you to go check them out!
Now onto the main event of the night: Grayscale’s performance! Smaller concerts tend to be really hit or miss because the energy from the crowd is either entirely there or entirely not, but in this case, the audience brought the spirit. Similar to Better Anyway’s performance, I didn’t need to know any of their songs previously in order to have an amazing time at the show simply because of the enthusiasm shown by both the band and the crowd. The band, and especially the lead singer, Collin Walsh, did many things throughout the night to make sure everyone was engaged and having a good time like holding out the microphone for fans to sing along and telling us to “move our hips”. At one point he even had everyone get as low as they could and jump up in unison with him during one of their songs.
The venue, Madison Live, was another aspect of the concert I really enjoyed. It was big enough that it didn’t feel claustrophobic, but it was also small enough to provide a close-knit sort of feel for the audience, especially because we were able to be so close to the band on the stage; or even off the stage. Before he went up on stage, Collin Walsh was standing right by the crowd so anyone could have gone up to him if they wanted to. I was honestly really tempted to go to the bathroom so I would’ve gotten to walk past him. The close proximity of everything was great until towards the end of the concert when a few people at the front decided it was the perfect time to start mosh pitting which was a little spooky. I don’t personally think Grayscale’s music is the kind that necessitates a mosh pit, but to each their own I guess. Thankfully I had a Santi there to switch spots with so I wouldn’t get shoved, but if you’re planning on going to a concert in a small venue like this, and especially if you’re holding a camera like he was, just be careful and hold onto your possessions tightly. Obviously this wasn’t a fault of the band, but just a side note of the concert as a whole.
Besides that one little issue (and also the 6+ foot tall people standing directly in front of me), Grayscale’s performance was a blast! The talent exuded by every single member of the band was amazing to experience in person. The vocals from Collin Walsh, the drumming by Nick Veno, the guitar and piano skills from Dallas Molster, and the various instruments played by Andrew Kyne (including the saxophone), all showcased the member’s individual talents within the band at some point during the show. The type of music they played generally had a rock/alternative sound to it, but about halfway through Andrew Kyne swapped out the electric guitar for an acoustic one and the band played some folk sounding, sing-along songs. One of my favorite songs of theirs in this genre, also their most popular song, is called Forever Yours. In general, I was a bigger fan of their rock songs than the folk ones, but it was really nice that there was some variety throughout the performance. It was also a nice change of pace because it gave the audience a chance to connect with the band by singing together.
Overall, I had a really great time getting to watch Grayscale perform, especially so close to home. It was such a fun experience being in a room full of people who genuinely love the band and weren’t afraid to express it, including the band members themselves. The energy from every single person on stage alone made the entire concert worth it. Now that I’ve gotten the experience of a Grayscale performance, I wouldn’t hesitate to go to another one of their concerts as soon as they’re back in town. I will also be adding half of their set list to my playlist immediately. All three bands put on a great performance, so I definitely recommend anyone and everyone to go check them out!