March 9, 2019, Baltimore, MD welcomed the band Set It Off (S.I.O.) to the Baltimore Soundstage. Right across from the Baltimore Aquarium, the Soundstage was completely sold out. Cody Carson, the lead singer of Set It Off commented, “This is the biggest sold-out show we have had so far.” S.I.O. was joined on stage with L.I.F.T., Super Whatevr, and With Confidence.
L.I.F.T. entered the stage around 6:15 p.m., fifteen minutes before the show was supposed to start. The band worked with the AV crew of the Soundstage to make sure everything was at the correct volumes. The lead singer commented, “This is just sound-check, so don’t be so hard on us,” as they started singing one of their new songs through until they got to the chorus. L.I.F.T., which stands for “Love In Future Times,” is an emo hip-hop group from San Diego. I was not prepared for them at all. However, the group did not disappoint. The lead singer said that the reason they perform and write the songs they do is because they know what it is like to grow up different in the age of the internet. Their tag-line is, “Misfits raised by the internet.” Once the clock hit 6:30, they started their set. I was surprised, but enjoyed their crazy set.
Super Whatevr was next. Having only heard of this band when I read about the tour, I was pleasantly surprised by their performance and their song writing. Super Whatevr, a group from California, is an alternative rock group. The group’s songs are about serious topics. According to their bio, their songs, “Don’t seek to push away the darkness. Instead, they invite it in, realizing the only way to move past life’s problems is to tackle them head-on. They’re songs that force listeners to confront the ugliness in ourselves and those closest to us. They come from a dark place, but they’re undercut with a ray of hope.” During their performance, the lead singer kept asking everyone if they were okay and would say, “Get healthy.” This band cares about raising awareness about mental health through their music. One of their songs, “Someone Somewhere Somehow”, is about the lead singer’s cousin passing away. Skyler McKee, the lead singer, said that the song was the only way he could get his feelings out. Their performance was fun, even if their songs were about serious topics.
With Confidence was one of the bigger bands performing during the night. With Confidence is a pop-punk/alternative band from Western Sydney, Australia. Once what was a calm crowd turned into a pack of rabid animals as people shoved through the crowd to get closer to the stage as the band started playing. The group mentioned that the show in Baltimore was one of the craziest shows that they have played. With Confidence played some of their newer songs with a mix of older tunes. Some favorites of my own included, “Voldemort,” “Without Me,” and “Moving Boxes.” With Confidence put on an energetic show and met fans after their performance.
Ready for the main event, I made my way to the photo pit. I was able to take ph
otos of S.I.O. in the photo pit for the first time. I was both excited and nervous about the experience. There were about five other photographers there with me. It was kind of intimidating to be around people with more experience than I did, but I managed to take some fantastic photos, if I do say so myself.
S.I.O. started out their set with one of their newest singles, “Lonely Dance.” They played a perfect mixture of old songs mixed with new songs off their new album, “Midnight.” During a pause in performance, Carson commented, “It is completely amazing to see after the release of Midnight what has been happening. Thank you for telling your friends. Thank you for coming to the show. Thank you for baring your souls to us and letting us do the same to you. This isn’t some cliché b——t speech. You mean the world to us. I want you to know that. Thank you for making us feel alive. Thank you for letting us be alive. Thank you for the support.”
Carson also stated that Baltimore deserved the “crown” for the biggest sold out show and also the most energetic show so far into the tour.
For more information on all the bands, follow them all on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Also look them up on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play.