Words by Danielle Chelosky | Photo via Anti Records
The frigid Friday night of January 26th, a sketchy Amityville street had a line of people clad in denim jackets, black leggings, dad hats, and obscure band tees going all the way down the block. Title Fight, the band that was practically radio silent for a majority of 2017, resurrected for a benefit show at Revolution Bar on Long Island — and fans were psyched. The tickets sold out within the first ten minutes or so, and resales, scarce and desperately desired by many, were priced at about six times the face value. This show was kind of a big deal.
Like usual, Title Fight brought hardcore bands to start off the night. Nosebleed, King Nine, and Turnstile warmed up with heavy hits to which fans opened up a pit and hit each other. When I stepped into the restroom I was immediately followed by a girl with her head tilted back and a tissue stuffed against her nose. “We like, just got here,” I said to my friend in disconcert.
I had missed the first two bands because of the length of the line, but I was glad I made it in before Turnstile went on. They put on a spectacular performance as always — Brendan danced around the stage as hardcore kids continuously climbed on and hopped off (usually with some impressive flip). The setlist comprised their most beloved stuff, like “Gravity”, “Bad Wave”, “7”, and even “The Things You Do” off their first EP. The place was completely packed at this point, and despite Turnstile being merely an opener, they had everyone entertained with an inimitable energy.
Title Fight pleased everyone with an immensely diverse setlist. For this one night, they formulated the perfect collection of songs to appease every album with equal representation. Unlike Balance & Composure, they took pride in their latest record and played a chunk off of it — highlights including “Your Pain is Mine Now” and “Hypernight”. This didn’t stop the crowd from pushing each other and treating it like it were off earlier, heavier albums. Seven songs from Floral Green made the cut, leaving me absolutely satisfied, especially after hearing “Leaf”, “Like a Ritual”, and “Make You Cry”. The amount of material from Shed was generous as well, with the title track and “27” riling the crowd up with the addictive riffs and catchy lines — “DO YOU REMEMBER / YOUR LUCKY NUMBER?” “Youreyeah” and, of course, “Symmetry” were the brief but sufficient previews of the band’s earliest and most pop punk record, The Last Thing You Forget.
I’m not gonna lie. I bought tickets with limited knowledge on Title Fight; I knew about half of Floral Green, and was able to appreciate the whole record before the night of the show. Shed, however, failed to click with me, until I heard the ingenious riffs in the title track and the angsty remarks in “You Can’t Say Kingston Doesn’t Love You” —“I don’t see anybody else / and I don’t need anybody else.”
With each album Title Fight has put forth, there has been a palpable relent in their sound. From the screaming and sporadic drums in TLTYF, to the slightly tamer vocals and caustic lyricism in Shed, to the softer sounding and nihilistic Floral Green, to finally Hyperview — the shoegaze phenomena we all should have seen coming. This evolution can either entice you or turn you away, but this eclecticism almost makes them impossible not to like.
Hopefully 2018 will be a more active year for Title Fight. An intimate Long Island gig is the best way to kick off the year, so we can only cross our fingers for a tour and maybe even some new material (if we’re lucky).
TheWaster.com | Long Island