Last week was a rough one for me. I’ve been commuting and working long hours, got my finals coming up, caught a cold, and tried to mix in holiday preparation on top of it all. It was the kind of week where, when Friday comes around, you don’t want to be bothered with any more bullshit – just let go and melt into some good tunes.
ManDancing was having their own problems. They were originally slated to play a different show in New Brunswick, but those plans fell through the day before, leaving them to scramble last-minute to try and find a venue willing to put them on. Of course, they were able to find one, because they’re ManDancing, and they fucking rock.
The last ManDancing show I attended, I showed up about 90 minutes late and missed almost their entire set, so this time, I left my job up in New Paltz, NY and drove straight down to New Brunswick at rush hour, sitting in traffic for about three hours, and made it to Paradise Lost just as the band was plugging in to begin the set.
Because they were added last-minute, they had to play first and only had time for about six songs, but they sure as fuck made the most of the time they had on stage. ManDancing gives a ton of energy and emotion during their performances. Their music has a wide range, from soft, introspective acoustic to hardcore thrashing and screaming. These guys don’t confine their music to any one particular genre; they just write real, authentic, and raw songs and let the music go wherever it goes naturally.
Stephen Kelly delivers the vocals straight from the heart. Most of the songs have very dark and personal subject matter, like binge drinking, not being able to get out bed, and just generally watching life pass you by. They’re basically the perfect band to see in a basement on a cold December night, when life’s already given you the shit end of the shit stick, and you can totally connect with the lyrics, “I didn’t ask to be here/And neither did you/Just like the rest of us/ So before we move on any further/Can we please forgive each other/We’re all lost in the ocean.”
When ManDancing left the stage, things just seemed better. They took my emotions up and down and back up again, got me to bob my head, tap my foot, grit my teeth. Their last album, Everyone Else, is now in a glass case in my apartment reading “Break In Case Of Emergency,” and it should be in yours, too.
Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.