Catching Up With The Keepsake
One of the things I adore about Atlanta is the diversity of its music scene. We get labeled as a hip hop hub, and though the city certainly boasts more than its fair share of great rappers and producers, they only represent one part of a sprawling network of talented up-and-coming artists from all sorts of genres. One such act is The Keepsake, a post-hardcore/emo act that pays homage to the sounds of bands like Silverstein and My Chemical Romance. Though they have only been making music together since 2016, these musicians really capture the now timeless vibe of the emo and punk scene of the early 2000s. For many of us involved in the local music now, this time period filled our middle and high school headphones with sounds that helped us cope with the chaos that is coming of age. The Keepsake keeps this tradition alive for a new generation.
I had the good fortune of catching The Keepsake when they played at Connect Live, an all ages venue in Acworth that focuses on community engagement in music and the arts. They played as a local opener for the Drop the Girl/Like Mike North American Tour. As this was my first time seeing these guys play live, I was taken aback by how tight of a group the band was, both on and off stage. Before they went on, The Keepsake was front and center in the venue, showing support for one of their fellow openers. When the band finally took to the stage for their set, they brought in the crowd, right off the bat, to make the set more intimate. From there, The Keepsake kept the energy dialed in at a solid 11 with each of their six members combining their talents to piece together song after powerful, energetic song. Even the house mix was on point, with each instrument clearly heard and empowered to play its particular role in creating the band's massive sound, which frontman Barry Shelton polished off with his crisp, clean melodic vocals and occasional dark, raspy bellows. The band did a few of their classics, including “Brother” and “Sick”, and a new song called “Downcast’. Each of their songs featured lyrics with a focus on the troubles that people experience in life, including depression, anxiety, and hate, reminding those in attendance that they are not alone in facing such timeless problems which have troubled generation after generation. This message makes the band all the more rewarding to follow, and gives them an appeal that goes even deeper than their fun, nostalgic sound, leaving fans eager to see what they have in store next.
Photos courtesy of Shaun Ramkumar.