Southern California alternative band Movements is becoming more and more prominent in the newest emo, post-hardcore scene. After selling out last week’s Slim’s show in San Francisco on top of multiple other upcoming dates, anyone who stepped into the venue could feel how much this band is adored.
As soon as the first song began, the crowd started intensely swaying back and forth in anticipation of the aggressiveness to come. The poles that stood throughout the venue proved to be a little bit of a roadblock for people getting thrown around and trying to watch the show — but in the end, that’s part of the experience.
“The Grey” set the mood for the rest of the night — a low vocal tone, an echoed yell and flawless spoken word are the motifs for the majority of Movements songs. Most of the topics addressed in the band’s songs were pretty dark, but the audience was ready to take on the emotional night ahead.
After finishing the first song and taking a sip of his boxed water, lead singer Patrick Miranda said, “It’s only the second night of the tour, but this is the best fucking day of the tour.” Audience members could surely see this chutzpah in the band’s movements for the rest of the show.
During the performance of “Deep Red,” the song that inspired the title of the band’s debut 2017 album, red lights flooded the room as Miranda sang each word with a loaded punch. Crowd members lifted their hands as if embracing this unspoken spiritual connection with the artist in the intimate environment.
“Submerge,” the slow-burner of the album, created a soulful space that only solidified this feeling. Movements’ lyrics are poetic at the core, paying special attention to the flow of the spoken word sections, and as the band built the intensity of the moment, the crowd played off of this energy naturally.
After the tour, Miranda told the crowd the band was planning on writing a new album and recording the tracks to release sometime next year. Working with the excitement that washed over the crowd, he said, “You wanna hear a new song?” His smile grew during the cheers, but quickly responded by teasingly saying, “too bad.”
The crowd may have been disappointed to not hear new material, but considering the next song in the set was “Third Degree” there were no complaints. Although the crowd couldn’t clap on rhythm no matter how hard they tried, Movements nailed every beat of this song. “Third Degree” is one of the band’s more intense tracks, but it was played with such conviction that you couldn’t even notice the seemingly endless number of people surfing over the crowd.
Miranda thanked the opening bands (Drug Church, Trash Boat and Boston Manor) frequently between songs, balancing his humor with humility to make sure the audience really felt how thankful and excited Movements was to be on tour.
One of the main instrumentalists of the group broke a finger shortly before the tour started, so the band had to find a new player two weeks before the tour started, Miranda said onstage, joking that the temporary member was now the best player in the band.
Movements proved its versatility in this way, but the adaptable nature of this band was also heard in the changes made to the live performance of “Fever Dream.” On the recorded album, this song keeps a lowkey sound that’s more of an acoustic melody. During the performance, the band decided to add ornamental instrumental sections to make it more spirited for a live audience.
“Suffer Through” showcased Miranda’s sustained vocals. The band’s energy never dipped throughout the show, and you could tell the crowd was more than pleased since the chanting for “one more song” began before they even finished playing.
When the band began the encore of the night, Miranda asked, “What song do you want?” and again waited for the response from the crowd. He smiled again, and said, “It doesn’t matter what you say, we’re gonna play ‘Daylily.’”
If this show proved anything, it’s that Movements is ready to headline some bigger venues next time they perform in the Bay Area.