Here’s a lesson all bands should heed: the smaller the club you’re playing, the less beneficial it will be for your band to have the Matches take the stage before you. The size of the club will always be inversely proportional to the amount of your thunder they will steal and how glaringly obvious they will make it known that they are in fact a better band than yours.

While both the Higher and Sherwood would try valiantly to break out of the pack with their brands of pop-friendly young’un rock, it was the Matches’ balance of quirky charisma and raw intensity that made them the clear standouts. Showing off select new tracks from their upcoming album, the Oakland natives thrashed and shredded through their set, displaying their ever maturing sound and cementing themselves as the only adults on a tour bill (and venue) full of kids.