By Zsarlene B. Chua, Senior Reporter
Tiny Moving Parts
SM North EDSA Skydome
MINNESOTA midwest emo rock band Tiny Moving Parts performed in Manila for the second time on Feb. 9 at the SM North EDSA Skydome in Quezon City as part of its ongoing world tour, and it was a night of very passionate fans singing along to the self-described family band.
The band opened up with “Midwest Sky,” a song about finding love in your darkest moments and losing it in the next. It was the perfect introductory song for those who might not be familiar with the three-piece band featuring brothers William and Matthew Chevalier (drums and bass, vocals respectively), and their cousin Dylan Mattheisen (guitar, vocals).
The song pays homage to their hometown in the midwestern part of the US and represents the emo rock genre which started in the mid-1980s: confessional, and emotional. There is a music video of the song features Mr. Mattheisen doing a guitar playthrough of the song while sitting in a cornfield.
Admittedly, this writer wasn’t familiar with the band and was at first baffled by their genre — midwest emo rock and math rock. Separately, I understand each of the words but put together this way was something different so I had to look them up, especially the genre “math rock.”
Math rock, for the uninitiated like I am, is characterized by atypical rhythmic structures including irregular stopping and starting, among other things. Listen to Tiny Moving Parts’ “Dakota” with its almost spoken-word beginning which segues into hard guitars in the next verse.
But the curious thing about this group is there’s a hopefulness and brightness to their songs, which is odd for a person who grew up in the 2000s when the emo rock movement could be really dark — think My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade” in 2006, considered by many as the theme song of the genre.
Tiny Moving Parts’“Always Focused” is one such song, which tackles feeling alive and never giving up even with constant inner battles. It was also a fan favorite as the fans huddling near the stage went wild for the 2014 song.
Last year, the trio released their seventh album, Breathe, after signing with a new record company, Hopeless Records. The album, whose cover art showed an cartoon wolf against a backdrop of flowers and mountains, was meant to tell their listeners “not be overwhelmed when things get tough, because life is a special treat we shouldn’t take for granted,” the band said in an interview with Goldenplec.com.
Songs in the album include “Midwest Sky,” and “Bloody Nose,” a song about the fear of dying and being determined to live.
And watching the band play with both men o guitars in black and the drummer with his full mustache and a blue Hawaiian shirt, makes the point clear.
Mr. Mattheisen often said throughout the concert that the band loves being in Manila, and it’s easy to see why — the couple hundred fans who gathered were incredibly passionate — there was even someone about 10 minutes in who crowd surfed. The mood was so jubilant in the room that the audience — this writer, included — almost forgot the coronavirus outside.
Almost, because it’s pretty hard to forget that there’s a deadly virus going around when concertgoers are asked to fill up a health declaration form, get their temperatures taken, hands sanitized, and given disposable face masks before entering the concert hall.
But like what Tiny Moving Parts stood for, don’t get overwhelmed when things get tough and keep on celebrating life.