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03.24.2023: Picture Us Tiny @ The Lost Horizon

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

With guests: Every So Often and Life is a Party

Jackson Velli aka Picture Us Tiny

A personal note: This show was a personal milestone for me, as it was my first time being invited to cover a show without first having a personal connection to the band or promoter. It was also my first time going to The Lost Horizon. TBH I'd always thought it was just another strip club, especially since it's right next to Paradise Found, I'd always assumed they were a matched pair... but enough about me!

This show continued the week's trend of feeling like a college flashback. I was transported back to my days of parties DJ'd with iPods and beer pong played with beer that cost $9.26 for a 30-pack; no re-racks.

The crowd showed up early. When I arrived the parking lot was essentially full, and people were outside waiting for the doors to open. The crowd lived up to the allowed age range: kids escorted by parents to parents, with the average probably mid to late teens. It had been a long time since I'd had to wait to get into a show for the person in front of me got their hands X'd. After we shuffled past the bouncers, people hung out in clusters, clumped around tables, merch or otherwise until Every So Often took the stage a few minutes after 8.

Starkweather loves MILFS.

The pop culture obsession and gleeful irreverence of early 2000's pop punk (a la Blink's Take Off Your Pants and Jacket) was evident throughout the evening: Under his Shoresy hockey sweater the Sean Starkweather of Every So Often was rocking a I <3 MILFS shirt, and their set included songs like "Salt City Porn Shop" and "Don't Put It Out With Your Boots Ted" (a reference to peak 1990's Adam Sandler's Billy Madison). Life is a Party's bassist had a tattoo of the Jackass logo and a Blink-182 tee, and they had a song that was about feeling like, well we we're told, but a chord was played, interpret as you will. Picture Us Tiny opened their set with deepfaked audio of Presidents Biden, Trump and Obama arguing over the rankings of the original greats of emo and pop-punk. I can't pretend I was cool enough to have gone to the Warped Tour back then, but this show was pretty much how I would have imagined it, if on a smaller scale.

Life is a Party's bassist repping Blink and Jackass

The scene in the pit was just as I remembered it from my college days: the girls at the rail and the edges, while the guys moshed and older patrons (what I assume were parents) held up the bar, drinks in hand. Crowd participation was encouraged and the crowd joined in whole hearted, from chanting "F--k you!" to the (not present) "creepy old guy" who'd been kicked out from Life is a Party's last gig (who in doing so had inspired a song), to waving their cellphone flashlights and creating an indoor starry sky when Picture Us Tiny slowed things down for a song. I can't lie, it was one of my favorite moments of the night because the crowd committed to the bit.

My God, it's full of stars....

Openers Every So Often had a strong set and were not deterred by the crowd not yet being at full strength, which for the evening was relatively intimate even at full strength: maybe 100, 150 people tops. While moshing was a bit hit or miss, pits definitely formed. Life Is a Party followed them with what I felt was a weaker set. They opened a peal of feedback and followed that up with a slow song. It felt like it took them a few songs to find their groove and for things to really start to roll.

Picture Us Tiny took the energy to another level. Picture Us Tiny (Jackson Velli, guitar/vocals) and his band for the night (Vir Batra, guitar; and Jack Murphey, drums) soldiered through their absent bassist (who was out sick) and a temperamental laptop replacement, to roar through their set and the crowd at it up. Jackson, a rising senior at SU pulled his roommate and fellow performer 33col3 (Zack Dacierno) on stage for a song too. And I'm not kidding when I say they roared through their set. The music was done and I was back home, twenty minutes away, by 10:42.

It was a great show, and if parallel universes are a thing, I would be interested to know if this show would have ever happened without the COVID pandemic, as the deadly pandemic actually gave life to both Every So Often and Picture Us Tiny. And because I'm a hack I can't help but say that either way, the energy of the night was infectious. I was glad to see pop-punk is alive and well in Syracuse.


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