MODERN BASEBALL gave fans a Valentine’s Day to remember with a stellar show at Newcastle Riverside. Their second visit to the North East city in seven months was a pleasurable return, which saw a different line up grace the stage.
Brendan Lukens announced pre-tour that he would not be joining the rest of the Philly band to focus on his mental health, but this did not take away the excitement and talent that Modern Baseball posses. Opening with Wedding Singer and rattling through tracks from their back catalogue it was a set featuring rare gems such as Apartment, Alpha Kappa… and a Jake Ewald three-track-acoustic-set. Said featured acoustic set, Jake played Cooke, a cover of The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site and Coals.
There was a lot of love on the stage between Modern Baseball. Joking and carrying on in a playful manner, Jake told bassist Ian Farmer: “Every time you wear that shirt you look like Charlie Brown who loves Grateful Dead!”
Due to the lack of Brendan Lukens, closing tracks Rock Bottom and Just Another Face were performed vocally by support act singers from Thin Lips and The Superweaks. Fan favourite Your Graduation had the wonderfully charming Ian on vocals, before he spoke over a ska instrumentation thanking everyone from Lame-o Records to the guys doing the lighting and sound.
It was final track When You Were Young (originally by The Killers) which stood out for me, though. Having watched full sets of the Philly four-piece covering The Killers I was desperate to catch at least some of that. It certainly did not disappoint, nor did the show in general.