Concert Review: Millington, Yeah Universe, MALOY and Midfield @ Empire Underground, 01/20/2023

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On the snowy Friday evening of January 20th, Albany’s very own Pop-Punk/Ska band, Millington, brought the heat to Empire Underground. Comprised of Cody Okonski (lead vocals/bass), Alex Maloy (guitar/vocals), Nick Cavin (drums), Pat Foxton (Saxophone), Nathaniel McKeever (trumpet), and Chris Paul (trombone), Millington commenced the new year with a celebration of their 2020 EP Beatdown Generation. 

The Millington crew invited a diverse lineup to open their hometown headliner, consisting of upstate locals Yeah Universe, MALOY, and special guests Midfield from Philadelphia. 

Yeah Universe was the first of three openers to kick off the night. With a mellow setlist consisting of songs from their debut EP, In Tandem, the Indie Rock band pulled the crowd in and set the tone for the evening.

MALOY took the stage next to perform a mix of original songs and a cover of “Over my Head (Cable Car)” by The Fray. The energy from the crowd was amplified as lead singer Alex Maloy began the first few lyrics, and it increased as he ended the song with the chorus from “Closer” by the Chainsmokers and Halsey. 

Pop-Punk band Midfield was the final opening act. They shook things up with some original songs— including their hit single “Every Little Thing”— and performed a cover from the Pop-Punk Queen: Avril Lavigne. Heads were banging, and the energy continued to elevate as Midfield made “Complicated” their own.

Finally, it was time for Millington. With a life-sized Snorlax plushie in the corner and the crowd cheering them on as they made their entrance, the Brass Emo group began their set. Fans quickly migrated to the front of the stage and immediately immersed themselves in the music. As promised, Millington began their tribute to their beloved EP, opening with the lead song “Saddest Side” and following shortly after with “Misery” and “Let You In.” The crowd lit up as they announced the next song, which also has the same name as the album. As their top song on Spotify with over 1 million streams, “Beatdown Generation” was the night’s highlight. Foxton, McKeever, and Paul stole the show with their labrosones and truly brought the song to life.  “HSS” and “Gone” completed the Beatdown Generation tribute, and the set continued with hits from their 2018 self-titled album. Fans were ecstatic to hear the live performance of their latest song, “Maryanne,” before closing the night with their second most-streamed song, “Cold in the City,” as their encore.  

There’s nothing that I love more than a musician who radiates passion with their performance— and that’s exactly what I saw tonight. The stage presence and crowd engagement were lively and exciting with each band. Along with the “don’t start your car yet” jokes and mosh pit teases, my favorite interaction of the night was witnessing the kid in the front row whose face lit up with joy after exchanging a fist bump with Foxton.

Photo Gallery by Reid Schaefer

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