It was a night of nervous excitement for me. It was my first return to the Marquee Theatre in over a year and it was a day getting hyped by listening to the brand new Authority Zero album Ollie Ollie Oxen Free. There was anticipation in the air, not just from myself, but from everyone excited to see the night’s show after the past year and a half. It took a little for the spark to ignite, but that Marquee audience burst to life once they started to get comfortable in a setting they knew all too well.
Our openers were the always fun and talented, Madd Dog Tannen. Over this night’s set was that Kyle was playing his last show behind the drum kit for them. With that came thanks from not only his bandmates over the microphone, but Chris Dalley, of Authority Zero, would walk out to his kit during the first few songs saying thanks in his own ways. The set itself was the emotion and enthusiastic filled punk and ska sounds this audience knows and loves. Madd Dog Tannen has been a favorite and frequent addition to the AZ bills for a few years now.
It was the high energy set that should have ignited the first pit of the night, as it had past shows. I caught people glancing back looking for the circle pit, but it was as if people were getting their concert footing back not knowing if and how to start it. If I wasn’t working on healing a knee injury from a prior mosh pit, I would have been the spark to getting the circle going. This aside, it was a smile filled beginning to the show and great sendoff for Kyle’s last set with Madd Dog Tannen.
Right in the middle of this night you found the self-proclaimed Galaxy Punks, Miles to Nowhere. People might find themselves familiar with the band if they were keeping an eye on Carter Drive Sessions the past year. Not only a streaming project that Kristen, lead vocalist and guitar, put together to provide live music over the quarantining, but they were frequent throughout it. This was where the night’s spark got ignited, as the crowd finally opened up that pit.
Miles to Nowhere opened up with their trademark song about guns, called “Gun.” They kept the energy going with familiar tunes including “Feelings” and “Best Friends” along with a couple new ones like “Ily.” We found Rich behind the drums excited while taking to juggling drum sticks at one point in the set. Meanwhile Katie was all smiles the entire time singing and playing bass around the Marquee stage. They just looked in their comfort zone and this Miles to Nowhere set got everyone excited in the room.
Then it was time for the band of the hour celebrating their brand new album release, Authority Zero. You could tell from the beginning this crowd’s energy was ready to blow the roof off. I don’t think there was a single song that didn’t have majority crowd participation singing along to every single lyric. From the start you could tell Jason Devore just embraced that moment. As their set began, the back of the stage lit and you could see the band member silhouettes against it and he looked to take it all in before a single verse. They opened up on brand new music off of Ollie Ollie Oxen Free, but didn’t take the approach of playing every song off the new album in order. Instead the set was an alternating of new tracks and familiar old such as “Bayside” and “Superbitch.”
In addition, this night marked watching the newest member to the band, Eric Walsh, taking over on guitar from the band Pour Habit. He came out with an energy and enthusiasm that works perfectly in the company of Jason, Mike, and Chris. After an hour, they began their encore tossing out an inflatable flamingo that bounced around the crowd the remainder of the set. The last song was an awesome combination of “Sky’s the Limit” that midway in paused to lead into Jason’s trademark, fast paced singing of “Rattlin’ Bog” before returning for the final few verses. This was an Authority Zero set to remember with an audience that made for one of the most electric atmospheres I’ve watched them perform in.