"We're going to have to turn away a bunch of these people," said John McHale, the guy who booked the Title Fight show at the Talent Farm. Two lines poured out behind the open door -- one for people with tickets and one for people still trying to buy tickets. Both were about 100 people strong as of 6 p.m. Faces young and old eagerly waited to squeeze inside the warehouse venue.
Title Fight fans with tickets yelled to the ticket-less "LOCALS ONLY" and "No Newbies!" as the group of 20-something-year-olds and under waited in line. The catch was that only 250 tickets were available. "No more tickets at the door, that's it, sorry," yelled McHale to the line -- no one budges. "I caught a kid trying to sell his wrist band. He was negotiating offers. I talked to him [and] explained to him 'like ultimately, I can't stop you, but what you're doing is unethical.' And he was cool about it. Rare," McHale told us later.
About 15 minutes later, Title Fight was sound checking one of their
newer songs, "Lefty." Feedback emerged from the speakers as
guitarist/vocalist Jamie Rhoden strumed his white Gibson Les Paul
casually. He wore a grey and red striped tee, tan colored jeans, and
a brown knit beanie. Opening band Single Mothers was setting up their
equipment on the floor to lift onto stage once Title Fight was done
warming up. "We were playing demo 03-04 up here," said Rhoden with a
smile to the members of Single Mothers. Title Fight has been together
since the boys were in sixth grade. Rhoden sat on the stage, his legs
dangling off the platform, taking in the atmosphere.
the warm temperature here to that of hometown Pennsylvania, where he
said it was 27 degrees. Bandmate and drummer, Ben Russin (who we spoke
with) joined Rhoden, clad in a hardcore band, Cruel Hand 2010 tour
shirt. The band quietly broke down as Russin chimed in, "maybe it
won't be as hot here tonight." His optimism was sweet, but not very
The ticket-less people were being let in two at a time
to either buy band merch, or use the bathroom. Owner of the Talent Farm,
Kevin Burns was running sound. An hour later, the lights went dim
inside and fans flooded into the lobby. It was packed with Floridians
getting ready for our version of "hoodie weather," and the oh-so-predictable bathroom line stretching from the side wing, into the main
room. "It's already getting hot and no
one's even fucking playing yet," said a random face in the lobby. Hate
to say we told you so Russin, but...
Mothers were about to take the stage to a full room of cheers. Vocalist Andrew Thomson was jumping around the stage as the band played their song
"Runaways." The punk-y spoken verse, fuzzy guitars, and warm tones of
the rhythm section were accompanied by the audience clapping along.
Thomson's spoken verses were quick and conversational, as if he were talking
to each audience member. The band played "Winter Coats" with explosive
build ups until each member was bobbing back and forth with wide grins.
was the band's second time playing the Talent Farm, explained Thomson.
"We're really happy to be back here," he said. The band closed with arguably their
most well-known song, "Christian Girls," and the overall solemn crowd
instantly started pushing each other for a chance at singing along. "It
was a lot of fun, 100 times better than the last time we played here,"
said Evan Redsky, Single Mothers' bassist. "This venue is quite unique,
so it was awesome to have it packed and it was just a good time."
hardcore band Pianos Become the Teeth were next on the bill. At almost 9, the band took the stage to an applauding crowd. From the second
the band began, the members instantly started flailing their bodies as
the audience threw their fists in the air. Drummer David Haik is a
monster. That's not just coming from us, Title Fight drummer, Ben Russin
told us so before the show. Haik whipped out quick intricate fills full
of angst and passion as vocalist Kyle Durfey's lyrics penetrate the
audience while they screamed along, word for word. The band played songs
like "Good Times" to small pileups at the front of the stage while
Durfey threw his head back and forth, his long black hair following.
Zac Sewell held out a long ominous chord as Durfey talked to the crowd.
"I've spent the past two hours trying not to shit my pants, but you
guys have already made me feel a little better." The band played more
songs, showcasing their ability to jump to different tempos and time
signatures with ease.
As Title Fight set up, the room
became more and more cramped. A look into the green room next to the
stage showed Pianos Become the Teeth looking dead. They were sprawled
across the floor, drying their hair with their T-shirts, and breaking
down what's left of their equipment.
The crowd was wall to wall, including people standing on the benches on both sides
of the room, and sitting on the stair cases. Rhoden laughed as fans perched on the staircases photographing the
band's set list. The phrase "crowd surf" is well known, but never had we seen
such a direct example of a crowd resembling an ocean. Audience members
created choppy waves, flying over each other as the band played an
earlier song, "Youreyeah." Bodies climbed up the sides of the stage just
to launch themselves off as the band played an even mix of both old and
new songs for their wide variety of fans.
Pure mutiny ensued as crowd members flew off one
another. "To watch the sea of people in the pit having so much fun makes
me wish I was 235 years younger," posted Talent Farm owner, Kevin Burns
on his Facebook page, Monday morning. The otherwise introverted bandmates came out of their shells as they performed songs like "Memorial
Field" for their devoted audience. "It's great to be back somewhere
familiar, see some faces we haven't seen in a while," said Ned Russin to
As the band played songs like "27," the crowd stormed the stage. The musicians wiped sweat from their eyes with their
inner elbows between strums as a mosh pit broke out in the middle of the
floor. The band closed with their most recent single, "Secret Society"
as fans shouted along and fans somersaulted across the
"Tonight at the show, we had a lot of fun and there was a
lot of stage diving and good friends and good people," Rhoden said.
The band members jumped in the air enthusiastically as a free-for-all
arose. Water bottles darted through the air and gave people in the crowd
much needed mists of cool water (other than sweat for a change). "It
might have been the best Florida show we've ever played," Rhoden
revealed after the show. "It felt good to be back at the Talent Farm.
It's notoriously hot, but there's charm to that too."
- Emily Bloch
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