When Piebald broke up in 2008, it was not with any hard feelings. The band wrote on their Myspace (yes that was still a thing) “we have decided to put Piebald to rest. The past fifteen years or so have been nothing short of extremely incredible…This is a time of new beginnings, positive vibes, and a congratulatory nod to the past.”
The band stayed broken up (save for a one off in 2010) until last year when they were added to Atlanta’s Wrecking Ball festival. Surrounding that appearance a tour ensued which included two sold out dates in their home city of Boston.
This summer they were added to the Boston Calling lineup and a much shorter run of dates were added. The tour kicked off in Connecticut, where the band had not played in a decade. Unlike last year’s reunion tour which saw the band play large venues in the tri-state area like the Royale in Boston and Webster Hall in New York (both roughly 1500 capacity), Connecticut’s Outer Space Ballroom fits less than half that capacity. Needless to say, the show was packed and intimate.
For most of their reunion tour dates they have had opening acts with some connection to the band. For instance in Boston, their ex-drummer Alex Garcia-Rivera’s solo drum project Chrome Over Brass opened the show. In Connecticut, Simon Doom was slotted to open. The band features Piebald’s guitar tech for their reunion tours, Jim Carroll. During Piebald’s set, Carroll also plays guitar during “American Hearts” and “Long Nights” so lead singer Travis Shettel can crowd surf and generally get sweaty with the crowd.
Piebald started their set with “Giddy Like a Schoolgirl” into “Look I Just Don’t Like You,” after which Shettel remarked “it got hot in here in a hurry.” That tends to happen when 500 or so 30 year olds rediscover their high school/college days by screaming along to anthems like “American Hearts” and “Long Nights.” Of the set lists since the reformation last year, the biggest surprise addition was “Sex Sells and (Unfortunately) I’m Buying,” the epic closing track on We Are the Only Friends We Have. Additionally, The set included two tracks from When Life Hands You Lemons which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year: the opening track “Two Rocking Chairs on a Porch” and “In Like a Lamb and Out Like a Lion.”
The band encored with the much loved If It Weren’t for Venetian Blinds It Would Be Curtains for Us All opener “Grace Kelly With Wings.” Before concluding with “Monkey Vs. Robots,” Shettel bemoaned his new life as a working stiff and thanked the crowd for reminding him that he can still do cool things. Oddly enough, most of the crowd was thanking Piebald for the same reason.