On October 12th, Moose Blood packed The Grog Shop in Cleveland, Ohio on their small U.S. tour, bringing Dead Leaves and McCafferty as supporting acts.
The Grog Shop is a small venue with a downstairs lounge, also known as B-sides, where the famous Emo Nites are held. The atmosphere is dark and comfortable, with ceiling fans on full blast to keep you cool as the place fills up with people. The stage may be just a step above the ground, but is still easy to see.
Dead Leaves was the first to hit the stage. Their set was short and sweet, but had the audience’s attention with its upbeat sound.
The next band was called McCafferty, dressed in Halloween costumes and playing a set that everyone in the crowd would remember. Each song is unique and attention-getting, with the lyrics being more than just words about a broken heart. Lead vocalist Nick Hartkop informed the crowd how the song “Graveyard” was written about a school shooting that happened when Hartkop was studying to become a special education teacher. Other songs played included “Dead Bird” and “Daddy-Longlegs.” They gave it their all in every song, keeping the crowd entertained and intrigued on what else they have in store for us.
Because I’ve only ever caught Moose Blood as the opener on a bigger stage, it was nice to see them play a small room. Each song went from one to the next, with very little banter in between. By playing fan-favorites such as “Bukowski”, the crowd sang along to the lyric, “to keep warm I’ll bring a sweater/you can have mine it looks better”, making the entire venue feel like one big family. Other songs in the set included “Pastel” “Glow” and “Cheek” giving the same feeling of warmth and closeness. The band ended their set with “Knuckles”, my personal favorite, giving the last song the amount of energy it deserved.
The best part about having a band like Moose Blood play at a smaller venue is that it’s almost good enough to simply listen. Even if you can’t see them perfectly, you can hear how much passion there is in each song, and that’s enough to give you goosebumps such a crowded room.
Never sleep on the chance to see any of these three bands if they hit your city, because you will not be disappointed.