Amped-up rock acts going acoustic isn’t as revelatory as it once was. Many have turned the trick since MTV’s “Unplugged” first gave acts like Nirvana a way to diversify their material and, in turn, reveal its art in a different manner.
New York pop-punk act Bayside has played the acoustic gig before, and played it with poignancy. In 2006, it released “Acoustic” after the death of drummer John “Beatz” Holohan” in a tragic van accident while on tour in Colorado. The recording gave a voice to the band’s grieving, and along with the Holohan-devoted single “Winter,” allowed them to rework previously pulsating work for the mood of the moment.
Twelve years later, Anthony Raneri, Jack O'Shea, Nick Ghanbarian, and Chris Guglielmo have released “Acoustic Vol. 2.” Thankfully, the release is not the answer to a tragedy, but an opportunity to remake previous favorites as different versions of themselves. Pace and arrangements of songs like “Sick, Sick, Sick” are different, but their messages land with the same meaning.
Bayside plays Nov. 29 in the Tralf Music Hall. Here are five things to know before checking out the show.
Less Slater, more Queens
Would it be reasonable for anyone to assume that a pop-punk band raised in the 1990s would name their band after the high school from Saturday morning sitcom, “Saved by the Bell”? Sure, but not the case here. The Anthony Raneri-led act hails from the Bayside neighborhood of Queens, hence the moniker.
Not the band’s first deviation
Bayside’s latest release isn’t its first foray outside the sound favored by its devoted audiences. “Acoustic" (2006) showed unseen depths of the band both sonically and emotionally; and in a more playful instance, the quartet released “Covers, Volume #1” EP in 2012. With energetic takes on cuts like Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” it was yet another instance of the act branching outside its own catalog and comfort zone.
First full acoustic tour
Fans of the band’s first unplugged effort never got to see the foursome play the stripped-down cuts on tour. They will on this one, as it will be Bayside’s first full acoustic tour in its 18-year history. But according to a recent interview with Billboard magazine, Raneri said it’s not just a matter of stashing the electric Fenders. "It's not gonna be just playing our songs on acoustic guitars. For people who have seen us 30 and 40 times, it's gonna be something they've never seen before."
Along with the old, one new
Though Bayside’s followers have certainly heard versions of much of the band’s new material, there’s one song they’ve never heard. Intermixed with the renovated classics and crowd favorites is a new single, “It Don’t Exist.” Circulating around social media via its music video, the tender resignation of love’s realities plays beautifully for this tour and pop radio, but might be hard-pressed to be weaved into the band’s electric existence. Then again, a hit’s a hit.
Based on the band’s setlist from its tour-opening performance at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge on Nov. 24, fans should look forward to a heavy dose of the new album, along with interesting additions. Though deep cuts like “Howard” and “I Think I’ll Be OK” appear on “Acoustic Volume 2,” they’ve never been played live, plugged in or otherwise. They are on this tour, as are cuts from the first “Acoustic” and a choice cover from Oasis.
9 p.m. Nov. 29 in Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.). Tickets are $21 in advance; $25 on day of show (box office, ticketmaster.com).