On Tuesday, Midtown will be invading the State Theatre with infectious guitar-driven pop music in support of its forthcoming album, Forget What You Know.
Along for the ride are opening acts Armor for Sleep and Your Enemies Friends. Both bands are new to the music scene, with their debut releases hitting shelves sometime in the past seven months.
The concert is a 120-minute voyage into the sugary-sweet sounds of emotionally stunted post-millennial punk bands striving to reach the success of Blink-182 and Green Day.
Midtown formed in November 1998, and the band was strongly influenced by New Jersey’s diverse punk scene.
After gaining a loyal following with their first two independent releases, Midtown scored a deal with MCA records. While 1999’s Sacrifice of Life and 2000’s Save the World, Lose the Girl went largely unnoticed, Midtown seemed primed for acceptance into the lucrative business of trendy music.
The band’s major-label release, Living Well is the Best Revenge, mixed styles by blending modern punk with emo as well as elements of ’80s rock.
Ranging from their minor modern rock hit “Like a Movie” to the obligatory cheesy ballad “Perfect,” Living Well is the Best Revenge made a small dent on the Billboard album charts, peaking at number 90. The disappointing showing led to Midtown’s drop from MCA.
Now, with a new record, a national tour and the support of Columbia Records, Midtown is poised to find its audience in a market overrun by dozens of pop-punk drones.
One point that should help distinguish Midtown from the hordes of other bland, faceless bands taking catchy pop ditties and adding a crunchy guitar riff is the band’s ability to incorporate many different sounds into the music. Lyrically the band focuses mostly on failed relationships, high school crushes and teen angst, but, sadly, these songs are written by men in their late 20s.
The typical formula aside, Midtown is known as an exciting live act with a catalog of songs built to appeal to fickle mainstream listeners. The band adds something more experimental to music that has seemingly been overused.
For someone looking for an enjoyable concert that doesn’t require much thought, then Midtown is the best way to go Tuesday night.
Midtown will perform at State Theatre Center on Tuesday, May 25. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.