Images courtesy of Georgina Hurdsfield
The theme of Pinegrove‘s Dot to Dot Festival set is certainly ‘honesty’. As the band set up the crowd hear “There a problem with the keyboard? shit”, the first sign of technical issues that had apparently been plaguing the band all day.
The set at the Old Granada Studios continues on to include not one, but two guitar strings, and a tambourine shared between drummer Zack Levine and keyboardist Nandi Plunkett. Another band might have been absolutely destroyed by what appeared to be haunted equipment intent on ruining the show, but Pinegrove never shy away from their issues, it would have been tricky for them to even try. However, singer Evan Stephens Hall manages to keep the show on the right track. He’s no comedian, he has no huge speech prepared for such an occasion, but his honesty in the face of thousands of Mancunians is well received and the audience wait patiently for each issue to be repaired.
It’s this kind of mood that Dot to Dot thrived on throughout the day. Mancunian spirit has rallied in the face of Monday night’s terror attack, and it’s that community we see supporting Pinegrove through their issues.
As for the few tracks, Pinegrove manage to get through, they’re not half bad. The core of the band seems firmly routed a pop punk emo vibe, but often strays into a merge of alt-rock and country. That’s a lot of influences for a band, and it creates a sound that although at first seems simple, slowly begins to unveil itself as each track progresses.
Their slower tracks are where Pinegrove seem to struggle and some more avant-garde tracks would arguably benefit from a clearer structure, allowing the audience to take in the bands poetic, heavy and hard hitting lyrics (most tracks mention suicide or death in some capacity).
Pinegrove are a band you’ll have to really listen to if you’re going to fully appreciate them, but that’s half of the experience.