Manchester Orchestra returns to The Fox for their annual Thanksgiving concert, The Stuffing. Always bringing some friends along for the show, this year's lineup featured Paris Jackson, slothrust, Briston Maroney, FOXING, Andy Shauf, and finally a headlining set by Manchester Orchestra. After missing their show in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 11th Stuffing was a special one.
Manchester Orchestra continues to prove why they're one of the best rock bands in modern music. The Atlanta natives headline set was a special one, with it being their first hometown show in two years. The packed-out house was ready to rock, and the fans got what they wanted. Loud rock songs, emotional ballads, and alternative sing alongs were all you heard once the band took the stage.
Manchester Orchestra, specifically frontman Andy Hull, stayed busy these past 18+ months. The Stuffing has always been a show for the band to bring their friends on stage for, keeping in the theme of Thanksgiving. In the past months, the band has collaborated with many artists on the lineup, writing and producing with FOXING, Briston Maroney, Paris Jackson, and more. Having them all in one spot was a special moment.
Andy Shauf was an unexpected pick for direct support. The indie and folk rocker has a predominately cult following, being labelled a 'musicians' musician'. Andy's set was mesmerizing, with little in the lighting department and not much movement on stage, the entire focus was on Andy and his songwriting. While Manchester Orchestra is known a loud rock band, Shauf connected well with fans of Andy Hull and his softer solo material.
The Canadian singer/songwriter's was a nice change of pace for the show, slowing down the moment for a minute to give everyone a break leading into the headlining set. Mellow words were transposed over what was an almost psychedelic-Americana instrumental by Shauf's backing band, a perfect fit for the gorgeous Fox Theatre.
Easily one of the most exciting bands in rock and alternative music right now, FOXING rocked the house. Tip-toeing around various forms of rock, from indie, to electronic, to post-rock, the band stays nimble and unpredictable. This translates especially well in their live shows where frontman. Conor Murphy brings and energetic performance with a masterful control of the stage. The entire band stays electric throughout, putting their all into the show.
This show marked the end of FOXING's first string of shows with Manchester Orchestra post-pandemic. They're set to pick back up with the band next year in 2022. This year was also FOXING's third appearance at a Stuffing, their previous performances being in 2017 and 2019.
A lot of people were wondering why Briston Maroney initially skipped over Atlanta on his "Sunflower World Tour," going to Athens and eventually routing to Atlanta in 2022. I had a feeling why, he was soon announced for The Stuffing. Briston was the third act to take the stage for the 11th annual Stuffing, rocking and rolling his way into the crowds hearts. The Knoxville native's rowdy and rambunctious set was Briston in his element.
If you're an avid reader of WEGL you might recognize Briston's face. We covered his Birmingham show on the aforementioned " Sunflower World Tour" last September. You can read up on that article here. He'll return to Atlanta on March 18th, 2022.
Boston rockers slothrust were a new name to me, but certainly one to remember. Ending out their run of shows supporting Manchester Orchestra and FOXING in Atlanta, the band seems to be in their stride. Performative, skilled musicians, and all around a great act, slothrust has a great future going forward.
slothrust brought some killer dance moves (above) for their set. The band is clearly no stranger to kineticism, with high energy performances by all three members. While members of the audience were still filtering in at this point, slothrust seemed to be a fan favorite, with many viewers dancing along to their set.
Not showing up for the opening act has always been criminal in my eyes. Especially when that opening act is none other than Paris Jackson, daughter of the late Michael Jackson. Just recently embracing her family's musical history, Paris has been collaborating with none other than Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra to craft a rather unexpected album full of indie rock and emo tunes.
Paris's set, while rather short at just four songs, was breathe taking. Sitting on stage, solo with her acoustic guitar, in The Fox felt etherial. One of my favorite parts of her set was her melody of her own song, "breathe again," fading into "Delicate" by Damien Rice, a hard artist to live up to. A hard recommendation from me.
Manchester Orchestra's shows never disappoint. With an hour and a half worth of set, the band touched on songs from across their catalog. While nearly 3/4ths of their set was from their two most recent albums, A Black Mile To The Surface and The Million Masks Of God, the band still played hits like "Top Notch" and "Shake It Out." New favorites "Bed Head" and "Angel of Death" also made the cut. Finally, to close out the night, the band ended on their lengthy, swelling song "The Silence." The closer also featured a quick guest appearance from the previous bands, FOXING and slothrust, and crew members for an epic dozen+ person guitar interlude. The setlist is below;
2. Angel of Death
3. Keel Timing
4. Bed Head
5. I Can Barley Breathe
6. Top Notch
8. The Maze
9. The Gold
10. The Alien
11. The Sunshine
13. The Internet
15. Shake It Out
16. 100 Dollars
17. The Silence (ft. members of the previous bands and crew)
The Stuffing marked the end of leg one of Manchester Orchestra's "The Million Masks of God" tour. The band looks to continue it with a short run in Europe and another North American leg in early 2022. Those dates can be found below;
1/10 Amsterdam, Netherlands — Paradiso Noord
1/11 Berlin, Germany — Silent Green (SOLD OUT)
1/13 London, United Kingdom — Union Chapel (SOLD OUT)
1/14 Manchester, United Kingdom — Gorilla (SOLD OUT)
2/16 St. Louis, MO — The Pagent^
2/17 Kansas City, MO — Uptown Theater^
2/18 Denver, CO — Ogden Theatre^
2/19 Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex^
2/21 Vancouver, BC — Vogue Theatre^
2/22 Portland, OR — Roseland Theater^
2/23 Seattle, WA — The Moore Theatre^
2/25 Berkeley, CA — The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall^
2/26 Los Angeles, CA — Hollywood Palladium^
2/27 San Diego, CA — The Observatory North Park^
3/01 Las Vegas, NV — Brooklyn Bowl^
3/02 Phoenix, AZ — The Van Buren^
3/04 Austin, TX — Stubb's Bar-B-Q^
3/05 Oklahoma City, OK — The Criterion^
3/06 Omaha, NE — The Admiral^
3/08 Minneapolis, MN — First Avenue^
3/09 Chicago, IL — Riviera Theatre^
3/11 Columbus, OH — EXPRESS LIVE!^
3/12 Detroit, MI — The Fillmore^
3/13 Buffalo, NY — Buffalo RiverWorks^
3/15 Toronto, ON — The Phoenix Concert Theatre^ (SOLD OUT)
3/16 Montreal, QC — MTELUS^
3/18 Pittsburg, PA — Roxian Theatre^
3/19 Sayreville, NJ — Starland Ballroom^
3/20 New Haven, CT — College Street Music Hall^
^ with FOXING and Michigander
The Stuffing XI once again rocked Atlanta. Manchester Orchestra and friends entertained attendees for over 6 hours with music and banter. If you're given the chance, I'd recommend any of the artists on this lineup.