Boys Night Out: El Rey Theatre, Hollywood, CA 8.7.07
It seemed odd to see such a band of veterans like Boys Night Out as direct support on a tour. Most of the other bands were probably still jamming in their garage when Boys Night Out released their 2003 debut Make Yourself Sick.
The Canadian band, which formed in 2001 upon first glance, does not aesthetically look like a band that would play the music they play. No tight jeans, no members with perfectly feathered hair, and lead singer Connor Lovat-Fraser seemed at home walking around barefoot on stage. And by the end of it, you’ll realize that it’s not needed.
This is a band that is truly about the music and don’t try to b.s. anything about it. In a scene where looking cool overtakes musical performance so much, it is nice to see a band that puts the concentration on the music and performance over their looks. Playing a 30 minute set with a mix of tunes from their three album catalog including songs from their new self-titled album, Boys Night Out gave the audience at the El Rey a great mix of dark pop-punk mixed with aggressive vocals throughout.
The crowd was pretty stagnant and blank through the first three opening bands, but finally showed signs of life thanks to Boys Night Out with lots of energy for the band to work off of towards the front of the stage. As I took pictures of the band, I’d have to look out as stage divers would crash on the floor next to me. Upon later stepping back to watch the rest of the set, mosh pits would break out and the Boys Not Out fans were easily recognizable rocking out as hard as they can, headbanging, and singing along to every song. Even the band complimented the crowd for being much more into the set than a blank Bakersfield crowd the previous night.
Their great song structure and musical ability shows on songs like “Medicating” from 2005's Trainwreck and new single “Up With Me”. And their knack for mixing the light and heavy showed in tunes like their breakout “I Got Punched in the Nose for Sticking My Nose in Other People’s Business”.
They brought the crowd to life, had great energy, and were ever more than competent performers in their set. It is a shame that a band that was one of the early groups to mix heartfelt singing with intense screaming (before the term “screamo” ever existed) is stuck in a valley of newer, similar sounding bands with slicker looks. The newer tweaks in their sound are a good sign that maybe they’ll get out of that mix. As a music fan, that would be my wish to them. But for them, Boys Night Out are definitely fulfilling their goal of being a good band with integrity.