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Despite anniversary, Bayside still feels current

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Modern rockers Bayside are ostensibly on their 15 Year Birthday Tour this spring, celebrating a decade and a half since the group formed in Queens, N.Y.

But guitarist Jack O'Shea says that continuing to promote last year's "Cult," the highest charting (No. 24 on the Billboard 200) of the quartet's six albums, makes the trek feel like more than just a nostalgia outing.

"The tour is the biggest tour we've ever done, which is a crazy thing to think of, having been a band for this long," says O'Shea, Bayside's oldest member at 38. "We haven't had to resort to playing full albums or doing anything like that. We're still doing business as usual. It's pretty remarkable we're still able to go out and be bigger than we were on our last tour.

"And," he adds, "it feels pretty good to see a lot of new people at these shows now. We have a part of our set where we ask how many people are seeing us for the first time, and it's pretty surprising the number of hands that shoot up at that point. So it feels like more of a 'now' tour than an anniversary tour."

That said, O'Shea and his bandmates -- whose "Cult White Edition" vinyl release of the latest album features four bonus tracks, including the new song "Dancing Like An Idiot" -- certainly recognize that reaching the 15-year mark is significant.

"Considering what's happened in the music industry over the last 15, 20 years, being able to be a viable band at our level and remain profitable enough for the four of us to make a decent living is something I don't think anyone has taken for granted," acknowledges O'Shea, who along with frontman Anthony Raneri now resides in Nashville.

"In the last 15 years we've seen a lot of bands come and go. We're definitely becoming one of the more legacy bands, something that has stood the test of time, which certainly is satisfying, too."

With "Cult" out 14 months now, O'Shea says Bayside is "getting anxious to get some new music out there" and plans to hit the studio later this year. "I keep telling everybody I'm going to do this as long as I'm allowed to," the guitarist notes. "Until someone tells me, 'Sir, you have to go home now. It's done,' I'll be doing it, and I think so will the rest of the guys."

Bayside, Senses Fail, Man Overboard and Seaway

Friday, March 27. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac

Tickets are $18.50 in advance, $22 day of show

Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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