Grayscale Injects Technicolor Into Houston Crowd
Written by Cynthia Isabel Zelaya Ordonez on February 9, 2020
“Yeah,” a small latina in a black and white striped tee turns to her friend, still blinking after the sudden flash. “The band is really excited about their lights this tour.”
Nella Vita is a retrospective album of love lost and suffocating regret. It was a much awaited follow-up to 2017’s Adornment. Some of the aggression and power found in the album was switched out for a more layered production and tracks easier to dance to in Nella Vita, but the fans didn’t seem to mind. If anything, their base seems to have gotten larger and stronger. So much so, that the band decided to give the tour a round two.
A second U.S. tour means a second chance to try to outdo the last tour’s openers. Hot Mulligan, LURK, and WSTR did a spectacular job of warming the stage up. Many of the fans screamed along, encouraging those unfamiliar with the band to pay more attention.
A little after 9, smoke began to pour on to the stage as the techs tested the light. Once the scene was set, Grayscale took the stage at 9:16, welcomed by an uproar of excitement from the floor.
They started their set appropriately with “Just Right,” a song about missing a love you’re not going to get back. Some fans took the energetic song as an opportunity to rush the stage, but the dancers upfront were unrelenting in their claim to barrier. The first couple crowd surfers, however, changed a few minds.
After the crowd settled (as much as possible under the circumstances) they dove into one of their most popular tracks off Adornment, “Slipping Away.” The rest of the show followed a similar pattern, a tag team between tracks off their sophomore and junior efforts. The only song they performed off their debut was “Pallette.”
The fans were forever grateful for the older gem, expressing their appreciation by starting a mosh pit in the center of the floor.
Keeping up the energy, the band followed up with “Mum” and “Echos (Carry On),” both on the heavier side, dealing with a mother’s abandonment and prioritization of drugs and about accepting the stains and flaws in a relationship under the guise of biblical allegories, respectively. Vocalist Collin Walsh seemed to retreat into his own world during more purponal songs, often closing his eyes and wrapping his arms around the mic while he sang. But the crowds extraversion was contagious, and you’d catch him exchanging grins with Dallas Molster or extending the microphone (stad and all) up in the air or into the crowd.
While the first half of the show was what one would expect from a pop-punk or posthardcore performance, the second half was more of a dance party. Starting with contrasting “Painkiller,” the band set their fans into a mood similar to that of a discotheque, swaying to lyrics about loving someone who’s more in love with drugs than they are with you.
Following the anthemic “Dessert Queen” was “In My Arms.” The dance party aspect was really heightened with the descent of a disco ball to accompany the song.
With the crowd in true ecstasy, the rest of the set was smooth sailing. The band had saved fan favorites “It Violet” and “Fever Dream” for the end. The band pulled out all stops, spinning and leaping about the stage as techs weaved around them to catch crowd surfers. Andrew Kyne was the dodges look easy, never losing footing or focus as chaos tumblerd at his feet.
A roar of applause came from the crowd at the start of “Atlantic,” the closer for the night. Those that had moved to the back or sides of the room hopped right back into the trong, jumping in unison to the band’s most popular song.
Grayscale is a band that started their careers by doing everything right to attain success. Time allowed them to policsh their sound and get a little experimental while allowing their poetic, often autobiographical lyrics to be the spine of their music. If you’re into cruising rifts, a solid drummer, and the relatable angst that comes with all things pop punk, I suggest you give Nella Vita a listen today.