Tuesday was filled with overcast skies, dreary rain and crisp breezes, practically desaturating life to grayscale.
Soaked and waterlogged, dedicated fans filed into Vienna’s Jammin Java venue, mentally prepared for the unforgettable performance pop-punk trio Tiny Moving Parts was about to bestow upon them.
The energy was truly one of a kind.
Long before Tiny Moving Parts’ frontman Dylan Mattheisen took the stage, the crowd—to my surprise— was already charged with zeal from opening acts Backwoods, A Will Away and Microwave. Lyrics were screamed in unison, fists were punching innocent air and heads were thrashing passionately in all directions.
As the simplistic two-chord introduction to “Sundress” abruptly transitioned to the forceful first verse at the start of the set, the crowd’s voices swelled to a new decibel, filling the venue with hot air, empathetic emotion and palpable consolation.
The Benson, Minnesota-based trio played primarily from their latest record, Celebrate—released in May—with tracks “Happy Birthday,” “Birdhouse,” “Common Cold,” “Stay Warm,” “Minnow” and “Headache.”
The group didn’t neglect their two other notable records, 2013’s This Couch Is Long & Full of Friendship and 2014’s Pleasant Living, evoking appreciative screams with “Clouds Above My Head,” “Always Focused” and “Dakota.”
And Mattheisen smiled through them all. The childlike glee depicted on his face contrasted the impressive labyrinthine licks he wrenched from his guitar, but contributed to the intensity of the set nonetheless.
Tiny Moving Parts’ lyricism never disappoints with surprising introspection, and the group’s premier show at Jammin Java is no exception.
Intertwined in the screams and notoriously intricate guitar riffs is rhetoric that allows one to come to terms with feelings unknowingly repressed, whether it be belting “I miss you” to an otherwise forgotten lover during “Sundress,” or letting “I’m loved for who I am” ring out as affirmation in “Dakota.”
By the end of the night, ears rang with a new level of intensity and throats spoke of a new definition of hoarse. Half-hopeful chants of “one more song” slowly faded away as Tiny Moving Parts instead opted to exit the stage.
Before leaving campus, I jokingly made the comment that I needed an excuse to scream. To be truthful, I was only half joking.
Finals are stressful.
For a college almost-twenty-something, this time of the semester feels like constantly being at the bottom of an endless, miserable to-do list; looking up to see nothing but looming responsibility blocking the pathway to winter break. This point of the semester means having a hundred assignments due at the same time, 8 a.m. exams and hours of studying, relearning and memorizing.
Having the opportunity to wail alongside Mattheisen’s intensely introspective lyricism was not only relieving, but cathartic, freeing and refreshing all at the same time. And to be in company with a crowd of fans doing the exact same was a spectacle, to say the least.
View photos from the show here.
Featured Photo Credit: Dylan Mattheisen fronts Tiny Moving Parts at Jammin Java. (Gabe Fernandez/Bloc Reporter)
Jordan Stovka is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.