Live Review: Into It. Over It., Slingshot Dakota and Koji – Alter Ego, Manchester – 12/11/2013

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Shows, gigs, live events…whatever you want to call them, always stir varying emotions in the individuals who attend them. For instance, tonight at the start of this event, there’s the usual wariness from a crowd who stand a gap away from the stage. But with a kind and gentle hand, Andrew Koji Shiraki manages to bring his audience forward. The humility in Koji’s performance brings a twinkle of admiration in everyone’s eyes. Strumming away on his acoustic guitar with memorable strum patterns, he sets the room at ease. Not only is he a gifted songwriter/performer, Koji also has a golden tongue with words; speaking his mind and experiences gives a sweet humanity to his position on stage. (4/5)

Pennsylvanian indie punk duo Slingshot Dakota put in the same amount of feels but in a sweetly charming and loud delivery. Both individuals are totally in synch with their respective instruments; Carly Comando chimes delicately with each note on her keyboard, whilst Tom Patterson provides the crashing of cylinders all around him on drums. The harmonious vocals, the delightfully smooth determination and honesty; it is a truly wonderful set to watch. (4/5)

It’s been a long time coming, but Evan Weiss finally brings the full band version of his Into It. Over It. project to the UK. So, as the Into It. Over It. full band, do they provide the songs with just as much warmth and charisma as they do on record? Yes, they brilliantly do. Kicking off with ‘Embracing Facts’, the energy on stage is felt and transcends. Some can’t help but smile and nod in delight, whilst others dance the night away in glee. Lighter numbers like ‘Spinning Thread’ dazzle, whilst more scrappy affairs such as ‘Discretion & Depressing People’ twirl in raw punk spirit. In fact, seeing all of these songs, ‘No Good Before Noon’, ‘New North-Side Air’, ‘Staring at the Ceiling’, ‘Fortunate Friends’, et al display the same kind of heart you’d get from Evan’s solo performances. By the end of ‘Midnight: Carroll Street’, the same warm glow many here tonight felt at the start of Into It. Over It.’s set consistently remains in stone. To Evan and friends, bravo, thank you, and good night. (4/5)

4/5

Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)

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