Keith Perks

PHOTOS: Manchester Orchestra, Kevin Devine, and Half Waif at Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, 06/05/18

PHOTOS: Manchester Orchestra, Kevin Devine, and Half Waif at Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, 06/05/18
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Atlanta indie rockers Manchester Orchestra made their mark on the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg on Tuesday, June 5 as part of their A Black Mile to the Surface Tour, named after their latest album released nearly a year ago, with support by Brooklyn singer/songwriters Kevin Devine and Half Waif.

While spanning their career, Manchester Orchestra’s setlist was largely taken from “A Black Mile to the Surface,” an album that followed their innovative score for the unusual 2016 cult indie film “Swiss Army Man,” which was composed entirely of layered vocals. This opened them up to new ideas when creating their fifth studio record.

“We’re a band that loves to use heavy, crunchy guitars,” vocalist/guitarist/pianist Andy Hull said in a press release. “We wondered how we could limit the use of that, so that when the guitars come in they can be creative and impactful. For ‘Swiss Army Man,’ we had to make 70 minutes of music with our hands tied behind our backs. When you’re creating all the sounds you need just from the human voice, it allows you to rethink what is possible and determine what is really needed. We wanted to make an album in a ‘non-Manchester’ way, if there is such a thing.”

“It was a test – personally, emotionally, creatively – to see how far we could push ourselves without breaking,” lead guitarist/keyboardist Robert McDowell added. “This record was intentionally uncompromised on every level. We made sure to explore all the options and that we were moving forward with the strongest approach for each song: strongest part, strongest melody, strongest lyric.”

Now stronger than ever, this newfound confidence bled into their live performance in Stroudsburg, which closed with “The Silence” and a cover of Bad Books’ “42” with Devine joining them on stage.

Manchester Orchestra setlist, June 5, 2018, Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg:

The Maze
The Gold
The Moth
Shake It Out
Pale Black Eye
I’ve Got Friends
I Can Barely Breathe
The Alien
The Sunshine
The Grocery
Colly Strings
Simple Math
I Can Feel a Hot One
The River


42 (Bad Books cover with Kevin Devine)
The Silence