Thursday night saw Brooklyn’s own The Honorary Title make a stop at The Blind Pig, and despite the youthfulness of the crowd in attendance, they put on an impressive performance.
Along for the ride were a trio of bands that complemented the night well. Texas natives Cruiserweight opened with 30 minutes of femme-punk-meets-’70s-studio rock. New York City’s post-emo crooner band, Nightmare of You, delivered a mellow but gutsy performance, embracing the crowd’s enthusiasm and punctuating the performance with the occasional scream from frontman and former Movielife guitarist Brandon Reilly. The final opening band was San Diego’s Waking Ashland; sounding like Something Corporate’s grisly cousin, frontman Jonathan Jones spit forth 45 minutes worth of tunes that enlivened the crowd and prepare them for the main event.
After what seemed like more than half an hour of sound checks, The Honorary Title finally took the stage, much to the delight of the mostly under-18 Ann Arbor residents in attendance. The all-ages show had its drawbacks right from the start; singer/guitarist Jarrod Gorbel had to stop one of his songs to ask the girls to stop screaming over one another. Scores of 16-year-olds spent the night climbing speakers and wouldn’t even make way for a valiant photographer. One even received a call from her mother and was heard saying “No, mommy! It’s only 9:30, and I want to stay for the whole show!”
Future Ann Arbor hipsters aside, The Honorary Title delivered. With an inauspicious beginning in which Gorbel simply strummed his guitar to begin “Petals,” the 11th track from their debut full-length album Anything Else But the Truth. Gorbel’s striking voice, which sounds similar to Our Lady Peace’s Raine Maida (minus the high notes), resounded off the walls of The Pig. The Honorary Title strode gallantly through the touchstones like “Anything Else but the Truth,” as well as testing some new material. Songs like “Points Underneath” and “Revealing Too Much” struck a chord with the lovelorn. Their closing number, a painful, heartsick version of their single “Everything I Once Had,” left the young audience full of feelings that they haven’t learned to comprehend.