Review and photos by Greg Maki
The crowd that came out for a rock show on a Friday night at Baltimore’s Fish Head Cantina wasn’t quite ready for music/art project September Mourning.
The bill on this stop of Smile Empty Soul’s “Oblivion of Souls” tour featured five straight-up rock bands—bands that are about music and nothing more, including a local act making a triumphant homecoming (Rise Among Rivals) and another one that played Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit covers. And then there was September—white hair and makeup, white leather outfit—backed by a band of black-clad “reapers,” playing electronic-tinged hard rock/metal, with scenes from their graphic novels projected on stage behind them.
A small group of enthusiastic September Mourning devotees gathered in front of the stage, and the venue was far from empty, especially since an earlier rain storm had sent everyone in attendance running for cover under the roof. Most of the crowd, though, seemed to spend the bulk of the set trying to figure out exactly what they were watching, so foreign was it compared to everything else on the stage this night. A great number seemed to have come around by the time September and the reapers ripped into “Children of Fate,” one of their signature songs, and even more came on board for the singalong closer “20 Below.”
The set list consisted of five songs from the band’s 2016 Sumerian Records release, “Volume II,” including a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me,” along with the pair of singles released in late 2018, “Empire” and “Glass Animals.” The production was impressive for such a small venue, the projected artwork, lights and smoke machines helping to transport the audience to another world, even with only 30 minutes to work with.
With ambitions clearly larger than the small clubs it’s playing on this tour, September Mourning is an act that needs to be in larger halls, where it would have the freedom to put on the show its creative output so far deserves. September and the reapers made the best of it at Fish Head Cantina, though, and made quite a few new fans in the process.
SEPTEMBER MOURNING SET LIST:
“Eye of the Storm”
“Stand by Me”
“Skin and Bones”
“Children of Fate”