As Into It. Over It. did sound check at Mohawk for a SXSW showcase Friday night and a storm roiled above, a few brave souls hugged the lip of the stage under a short awning hanging over. Everyone else hid from the rain underneath the tent on the balcony or by the covered bar. It looked like the Red Sea, with a no man’s land of a floor as a dry gulf.
But then the rain stopped, and Evan Weiss opened that black hole from which many emo proverbs have emerged — his mouth. The venue space filled and became intimate. The band released new LP “Standards” this month, showing a remarkable musical growth characteristic of the whole “pop punk renaissance” that’s emerged as Warped Tour kids have grown up and gotten mortgages. The heart-pangs are still there; everything just sounds a little more sober. New song “No EQ,” with its talk of aging brains not focusing quite the same, showed Weiss hasn’t lost his big, emotional core.
At times, post-rock luxury scored the drizzle. Guitarist Josh Parks took a violin bow to his strings, an elegant touch. And say what you will about the maturity of bands that can appear on the cover of Alternative Press any given month. Into It. Over It. is an athletic band that works up a sweat, dropping their bodies into the beats.
The relatively classic “Upstate Blues” worked the wet crowd into a frenzy like no other song. The words “I think you’ve had enough to handle/And I can see it in your smile” were a familiar rallying cry. But as Weiss said, many of the songs performed were being played for maybe the second time ever in front of people. It’s a testament to resonant bedroom journal lyrics and chords that keep you 17 in your head that the stand-bys and new cuts wrapped everyone up with the same sense of wistfulness.