The World Is A Great Big Pile Of Leaves and I'm Into It
By Megan Fair, Copy Editor
What’s better than four great bands with delightfully different sounds packed into an intimate venue in Columbus? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Columbus locals SRVVLST kicked off the show for A Great Big Pile of Leaves, The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die and Into It. Over It. at The Basement on Thursday night. The bangers were endless and the crowd was hopping, quite literally.
I think Evan Weiss, vocalist of Into It. Over It. said it best when he said, “Give it up for SRVVLST, right? You guys in Columbus should be really proud.” The math rock inspired punk was full of passion, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a well-rehearsed local act. Every time change and movement was crisp and calculated, yet the music lacked no passion at all. The set’s conclusion left the crowd in awe as the drummer stood up at his set and played the concluding fills while shouting his absolute heart out. Give me way more SRVVLST or give me death.
The focus of the show shifted with New York natives A Great Big Pile of Leaves who had a very devoted fanbase show up and show up hard for their set. The indie rock set was a perfect blend of bouncy and punchy, and towards the end the crowd began to dance and leap around in a manic fashion.
You could tell that every single member of A Great Big Pile of Leaves was so thrilled and grateful to be on that stage, and not a second went by that they weren’t each grooving and smiling. That energy is hard not to catch, and even those not familiar with the band’s work before the set were bobbing along and grinning, and “Snack Attack” and “Alligator Bop” have been stuck in my head since.
The first time I saw TWIABP was their opening set for Brand New, and my experience was good on the music side, not so great on the distance and visibility and crowd side. At the Basement, however, I had the chance to be right up front staring into the faces of some of the most talented artists on the planet. Seeing TWIABP is actually a spiritual experience, and I experienced goosebumps and near tears several times throughout the set.
TWIABP’s set was a great mix of older and newer and newest--in fact, the band played some new material featuring spoken word by Chris Zazzimia, and although it was sometimes too noisy to really hear the spoken word, it was nonetheless incredible. The lyrics and topics were amazing, and TWIABP continues to be one of the most amusing bands around. “We’ve got a new record coming out,” said guitarist Derrick Shanholtzer-Dvorak, “You guys are gonna hate it...Seriously you’re going to hate it.” I hate to disagree sir, but I highly doubt that’s humanly possible.
Last but not least was of course the ever-charming, always spectacular Into It. Over It. Seeing Evan Weiss perform with a full band is breathtaking, and the band is clearly well-rehearsed. Whether Weiss is spitting a hilarious monologue about going gray or reminiscing about Monster House or belting out “No Good Before Noon,” he has total control of the audience’s attention. The crowd went bezerk, finger-pointing was rampant and the setlist was twenty songs long and filled with classics as well as tracks off Intersections.
Part of the joy of seeing Weiss perform live is watching members of the crowd standing still absolutely captivated by the music, swept up in the moment or the lyric. There is something so deeply personal and intimate about each and every song that can strike awe into even the toughest soul.
With every act filling the show in a special and exciting way, every single moment of music was memorable and personal. The Basement offered everyone a very close space to become one with the sea of listeners and get sucked into the tuneage. Each group stuck around and mingled with the enthused fans, even striking up conversations with strangers beyond the merch booth. Oh, and I got a really rad selfie taken by Evan Weiss in which you can only see me and his shirt because the IIOI brainchild is a giant.