Philadelphia’s Modern Baseball aims to make show spaces safer | Music Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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Philadelphia’s Modern Baseball aims to make show spaces safer

“There’s a lot less people coming up to us after shows saying they’re getting groped or kicked in face.”

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In the handful of years that Modern Baseball has been around, the band has grown in sound and notoriety. With each release, the Philadelphia-based band has found a way to mature its bittersweet, witty indie punk, epitomized on its latest album, Holy Ghost. Stand-outs like “Wedding Singer,” “Everyday” and the harmony-laden “Holy Ghost” certainly justify the hype and devotion of MoBo’s rapidly growing fan base.

Bigger, better-attended shows are great for musicians, but they can lead to problems for audiences. When people feel less accountable in a large, crowded room, it can lead to sexual harassment and aggressive behavior that makes other attendees feel uncomfortable.

To combat this problem, MoBo created a safety hotline for all the gigs on this tour. If someone texts 201-731-MOBO (6626), the tour manager will be alerted to the problem and will work with venue staff to resolve the issue.

“[I]t’s going really well!” singer/guitarist Brendan Lukens says over the phone. “I feel like there’s a lot less people coming up to us after shows saying they’re getting groped or kicked in face.”

In addition to caring about safety, MoBo also wants to ensure that fans see a good show. The band makes sure its headlining tours feature lineups the members feel passionate about, so they handpicked Joyce Manor and Thin Lips. The lineup showcases a delightfully wide range of punk sounds, including Thin Lips’ gritty-meets-poppy punk and Joyce Manor’s raw, emotive tunes.

No strangers to Pittsburgh, Lukens says the band is “really stoked to be back,” and to see all the friends who booked and supported the band here on its earliest DIY tours. 

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