Scranton-based indie rock quintet Tigers Jaw will play the Bamboozle Festival on April 30th in New Jersey.
The Bamboozle Festival is an annual music festival held in East Rutherford, New Jersey at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Bamboozle is the Coachella of the East Coast. The usual two-day format has been changed this year to three days of music. Along with Tigers Jaw, other musical acts include Alkaline Trio, the Gaslight Anthem, New Found Glory and 80’s heavy metal band, Motely Crüe.
However, if a local band playing a large music festival is not unique enough for your taste, two of the members are Marywood students. The founding members, Adam McIlwee, guitarist and vocalist, and Ben Walsh, guitarist and vocalist, both attend the university. Tigers Jaw also consists Brianna Collins, keyboardist and vocalist, Dennis Mishko, bassist, and Pat Brier, on drums.
The soft-spoken, 20-something year old excitedly talked about the show Tigers Jaw played the night before in Philadelphia. Tigers Jaw played to a sold-out crowd in Philadelphia with fellow local band, the Menzingers. “It was really unbelievable,” said McIlwee.
Established in late-2006, Tigers Jaw spent most of their earlier years playing local venues. It was not until two years ago that the band signed onto Run for Cover records.
Based in Boston, Run for Cover is typically known for supporting pop punk and hardcore bands. Indie rock band Tigers Jaw now had an opportunity to gain a larger and more diverse fan base. It was after a tour with label mates, Title Fight, that McIlwee said, “A different group of people started listening to us that normally wouldn’t.”
Recently, Tigers Jaw released their second full-length album, “Two Worlds,” through Run for Cover records. When asked about the reception of the new album from fans, McIlwee said, “People think it’s too short,” he said with a grin, “but it’s not.” He shared a story about telling a reporter this during an interview only to be reprimanded by the questioner for the comment. He refused to retract his statement, but said other than length complaints the reception for “Two Worlds” has been good.
With harmonious melodies and melancholy tinged lyrics of growing up and breaking up, they have the ability to capture your heart one minute, but also punch you in the face with intense guitar driven songs in the next track. It is no surprise they fit so well with their label.
They have done numerous tours such as a US Tour over the summer and Canada last January.
Recently the band spent some time in the United Kingdom during Marywood’s winter break. The indie rockers played in England, Scotland and Ireland.
McIlwee discussed the transition from touring to school. “It’s like [school] doesn’t matter when I have this unrestricted freedom for week,” he said.
However, despite all of the success, Tigers Jaw manages to keep themselves grounded when at home. Each member of the band attends college. It is a commitment they made to themselves a long time ago. They do their best to prioritize school and the band, with school coming first.
As a band, Tigers Jaw is only five years old, two of which McIlwee spent in high school. They have created quite a buzz among the Scranton, as well as other cities music scenes. Many people find this to be refreshing : such a young local band finding success, along with getting an education. With Bamboozle in the spring and another album in the future, Tigers Jaw gives a glimmer of hope to the local bands trying to make it in our area.