April 18, 2014
Cloud Nothings frontman Dylan Baldi sings, “I’m learning how to be here and nowhere else,” on the hit single “I’m Not Part of Me,” a statement that he lived up to in energetic fashion on Friday, April 11. Less than two weeks after releasing Here and Nowhere Else to critical acclaim, the Cleveland-based Cloud Nothings was brought to the Hill by the Independent Music Fund (IMF), along with opening act Ryley Walker. A mixture of punk, indie rock and post-hardcore, Cloud Nothings put on an extremely spirited, if slightly uneven, show. I’ll be the first to admit my prior doubts about Hamilton’s receptivity to a punk show, but the enthusiastic crowd fed off of Baldi’s angst for the majority of the band’s one hour set. The appearance of a mosh pit towards the second half of the show was enough to send any professors in attendance scrambling, only adding to the electric atmosphere. Baldi’s guitar sounded even better live than it does on the record, but the show’s energy was dampened by a stretch of directionless jamming in the middle of the set.
Cloud Nothings is at their best with their more melodic songs, leaving me wishing for a little less self-indulgent thrashing. Regardless, the band is extremely tight and has fantastic momentum, highlighted by drummer Jayson Gerycz’s ability to hold the band together at breakneck speed. Highlights of the evening included “Stay Useless,” “Now Hear In,” “I’m Not Part of Me” and receiving an inadvertent elbow to the face when I strayed too far into the heart of the mosh pit. Cloud Nothings have established themselves as a critically acclaimed young band with a world of potential. Baldi’s mixture of angst-ridden lyrics, raw energy and undeniably catchy hooks translate to live performances naturally, resulting in a well-received high energy show.