Have Mercy Live Review

Have Mercy Live Review & Concert Photos w/ Weatherbox, You Me and Everyone We Know, and Head North | Epic Problem Tampa | April 8, 2015

by • April 16, 2015

The romp of Have Mercy’s show may have been limited to the stage, but the band’s energy rolling into Epic Problem in Tampa might have stopped a few scene kids’ hearts.

Baltimore indie troupe Have Mercy waded into the Tampa skate park venue with a casual vibe layered with surprise artistry. For a Warped Tour pick, they had a little more zest than I had envisioned from hours of Spotify daydreaming. Signed to trendy label Hopeless Records, the quartet didn’t reek of overdone whine and grovel that seems so common to pop punk, but instead offered a degree of depth and sincerity.

Have Mercy was there for fan-bonding. Ten songs in and they were ready to step off stage and chat. Wide-eyed and at a near stand-still, the audience were frozen by the pop-punk spunk and rocking bite in the live performance. I could only hope that they were stunned. Or, maybe just newbies to the whole concert experience? Ah, to be young and terrified of crowds again.

Hits like “Two Years” and “Howl” blasted through the audience, leaving even parent chaperones bouncing along. Lead singer Brian Swindle could’ve asked me for my camera and I probably would’ve handed it to him without hesitation; there was a compelling edge to his presence that offered a sense of experience and honesty, in spite of his own youth.

Have Mercy is the kind of band you would pile in front of the television with and bicker over professional wrestling with, and maybe strum a few brilliant chords during commercials. At least, that was the impression they left me with when conversing with the crowd. Swindle hinted,

“So I’m thinking about going to Hulk Hogan’s restaurant.”

“Don’t do it. It’s bad,” I shouted.

“Oh, okay, never mind. Maybe I don’t want to go there,” Swindle laughed.

Energy and essence of youth are what carried Have Mercy, but the surprise powerhouse of the night was San Diego alternative band, Weatherbox. The secret recipe slowly revealed itself in their performance: a cup of indie-punk, tossed with melodic head banging, a scoop of emo, and a dash of post-rock flavor. There was nothing saturated in “Broken Glowsticks,” a bursting roar that the whole set was building up to.

Which brings me to the cavity of the night–You Me and Everyone We Know. The spazz-matic D.C. act was too rich in flavor for me to swallow, but were just right for the rest of the warehouse. It was positive news to the punk rock princesses of the night that headlining was in their foreseeable future. Fans can look to this summer, when You Me and Everyone We Know will be offering a heaping Florida sweep through Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville. Frontman Ben Liebsch bounced from stage to audience, leaving shoe laces untied and nearly colliding into the neck of a guitar. Whoa there.

Openers are always underrated, but none more so than Buffalo outfit, Head North. Familiar with Tampa Bay, the quartet bragged of a four-day sleepover at DIY-haven, the Goat House. Generalizing the band as pop punk doesn’t do them any justice. Instead, there’s a personality within the band that made them seem at home playing at a skate park. There’s room for Head North to grow as a young band in sharpening their sound, but I’ll be keeping an open ear.

Have Mercy Live Review & Concert Photos by Amanda Starling.

[Not a valid template]

Check out our South Florida SIGT Website! 

Shows I Go To South Florida Giveaway, Reviews, Photos, and more

Please support our friends who support us! Tell them Shows I Go To sends love! 🙂

Recommended Posts