Before Modern Baseball even graced the stage of this Glaswegian warehouse, support from Thin Lips and The Superweaks (and likely The Pooches who I unfortunately missed) cemented the house party atmosphere, that feeling of friends congregated in a sweaty basement to enjoy live music and each other's company. The jovial crowd interaction and fuzz-laced music only served to highlight this ambience on the path to the performance.
Embarking on a tour without frontman Brendan Lukens (who stayed in Philadelphia to focus on self-care and recuperation) was a bold move on the part of this quartet, but a commendable one, as fans' enjoyment would not be delayed, and it strikes me as an admission that all members are and should be on an equal footing. In that other acts may replace a drummer with a replacement without question, but quickly abandon ship should that charismatic lead be absent.
Regardless, the performed an expansive and endearing set of the emotive pop rock anthems which have garnered them such an international following. Whilst their sound can be uninspiring at times on record, the passion with which the band delivered their performance, and how this was reflected and amplified by an energetic crowd, ensured that the show was a thoroughly enjoyable one.
The heart of Modern Baseball's craft is undoubtedly the impact of the honest lyrics, elevated by the music that the dance with. Missing Lukens' presence and delivery was somewhat of a loss to the quality, but again the gusto of the crowd dwarfed any shortcomings on the part of the band, as the back and forth was invigorating.
The final third of the set began with a cluster of solo acoustic tracks from primary replacement vocalist Jake Ewald, with crowd joining him in the rendition of both the lyrics and the melodies. This lull helped to increase the power of the final straight by contrast, as the band were joined onstage by various members of the support acts. The final duo of the raucous 'Your Graduation' and an unexpected cover of The Killers' 'When You Were Young' brought the night to a glowing end, although expanding the short snippet of 'Seven Nation Army' into a full blown cover would've been perfection.
Overall, despite the swearing and alcohol, the show held a "family friendly" vibe, perhaps that would be the musical kind rather than the nuclear kind. Showcasing their art from humble beginnings to Holy Ghost, Modern Baseball and friends (including all in attendance) had a pleasant Thursday night, and just maybe that claim that Glasgow is their second favourite city was actually sincere.