By Michael Cerio
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Being a young band in New York, Philadelphia becomes a natural first step towards growth. Such was the case for Bayside and their lead singer Anthony Raneri.
“Philadelphia was one of the places we would play when we first started” Raneri recounts from a field behind the North Star Bar in the Fairmount section of the city. “Before we went on proper tours we could come down for a weekend or whatever. So it’s so cool for me to have played with the band, play places like the North Star, places like the Pontiac Grille, all these like real small kind of places. Even playing VFW halls and stuff like that at the beginning…the history, the climb up for us in Philadelphia is very very evident. ”
Fifteen years later, that climb up has led Bayside to headlining shows at venues like Electric Factory and over a quarter-of-a-million records sold. But today, Raneri isn’t surrounded by tour buses and the big production of a successful band. He is unpacking boxes of t-shirts to sell that night, and looking forward to meeting every fan that pays the sixteen dollars to see him.
The success of Bayside has afforded him the chance to experiment with solo material, and his new album Sorry State Of Mind has brought him back to the legendary North Star Bar.
“When there’s two, three hundred people a night at the shows, I can easily just meet every person. Hear their stories. They talk about the music, they ask me questions, I ask them how they found out about us. It’s awesome to have that connection with the fans.”
We often get stuck in nostalgia, remembering the music of our formative years as the best there ever was. It’s why fans still pack houses for artists from Paul McCartney to New Kids On The Block. And as the landscape of music changes with time, it’s easy to dismiss what the “kids” are into these days. It’s worth noting for a band like Bayside, who over the years has often been a part of the Warped Tour, the largest and longest running festival in the country. A showcase for the tastes of many rock music fans in their mid to late teens. For some, its lineup announcement is yearly reminder of how little they have in common with those tastes.
Raneri proposes that when he was playing Warped Tour with Bayside, there was likely an older generation that thought that that wasn’t cool. It’s an endless cycle of it always being better when you were younger.
“I think Warped Tour has maintained, I think that it’s us that have moved” says Raneri. “Warped Tour to a new group of sixteen or seventeen-year-old kids, means the same thing as it did to me when I was sixteen or seventeen.”
To hear more from Anthony Raneri, check out the full interview above or watch video of the conversation here.