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Show Review: Grayscale cleanses the Nile Theater with energetic monsoon set

Grayscale said “Let It Rain” and the Arizona (not Carolina) skies said, “bet”. 

The Pennsylvania five piece is on their Summer Dream Tour with Guardin, Bearings, and The Ivy and stopped by Mesa’s Nile Theater this week to drown out any trace of Sunday scaries. And despite the pre-show looming storm clouds and subsequent torrential downpour, the Valley’s pop punk fandom showed out to see their faves. 

One of the most fun aspects of this genre is the touring bands’ friendships, and every single group took time to hype each other up on stage. From opener to headliner, the crowd cheered and whooped for everyone on the tour. It’s a community, and it’s one that doesn’t take itself too seriously, evidenced by the first two bands cracking jokes on stage and heckling each other. Easy laughs rang through the crowd as they sang along with the songs they knew. 

Meanwhile, outside, the rain started pouring. Venue security hopped on stage to crowdsource the locations of roof leaks and ensured we’d remain safe if the whole place lost power. We were indoors but still had a rain delay — classic monsoon season. 

The 20-minute pushback didn’t stop Guardin, who dropped his beats as soon as security gave the all clear. His set, the hip hop adjacent interlude of the evening, got heads nodding and feet tapping with the bass. And with no set genre that defines any of his songs (much less his catalog), he delighted plenty of fans and brought the crowd to a roar closing his set with “i think you’re really cool” of recent TikTok fame. 

Sometimes you come to the show to discover something new, but sometimes that comfort of familiarity gets you out of the house in the middle of a dust storm. And after  Warped Tour appearances and tours with friends, Grayscale is certainly familiar. Whether singing along to songs from 2017’s Adornment or last year’s Umbra, the crowd knew every word and filmed their favorites. Some fans packed the barricade, but others hung back and took it all in. (The Elder Emo contingent is, in fact, very real.)   

The setlist was a fairly even mix from the band’s three newest albums, but Grayscale knows their audience: “Atlantic” closed the main set well past the venue’s curfew, followed by a partial “She’s So High” cover as The Nile bathed everyone in multicolored lights. A cleanse of the inside that matched the cleanse of the outdoors, if you will. 

Missed the gig? Check out the photos below.

Story and photos by Taylor Knauf