Show Review:: Take Action Tour; 3/30

Take Action Tour
3/30/2014 – 7pm. 
Upstate Concert Hall 

The end of winter is always a pretty disgusting time. It rains constantly, which means all of the snow is melting into this gross, sloshy mess. There’s not really any grass yet, so tramping around in mud becomes a daily thing. And it’s grey. Everything is grey. All the time. 

That’s what it was like outside on the day of the Take Action! Tour in Clifton Park; gloomy, dull, dreary, bleak.

Luckily, inside, it was a much different story – pack wall-to-wall with bright, lively, anticipatory chatter.

When I first reviewed Dangerkids’ debut album a while back, there were the wary critics that warned about their sound coming off as gimmicky. I kept this in mind, but very soon found myself not concerned with this, drawn in by how well it was executed. As taken as I was, I didn’t take into consideration how well their intensity and energy would translate to a live show. And that was a mistake. Their set, which ran just short of thirty minutes, brought their rap/rock sound and their hardcore mindset to life beautifully and was easily one of the better opening acts I’ve seen. There was an undeniable buzz throughout the building, where established fans mixed with people who had just watched a band they were now going to spend time following – perfect execution from an opening act. 

To follow, Australia’s I Killed the Prom Queen, kept things rolling along. Being regulars to the area, I had seen this band perform a handful of times. But, something each time just hadn’t clicked before. Since their last round, either I’ve become a better listener or they’ve honed their sound since their last visit, probably both, but this time was their best performance to date. Despite a minor technical flaw, leaving the clean vocal microphone inaudible and low, they still managed. They left nothing on the table for closer “Say Goodbye” which turned out to be their strongest moment. This can be taken two ways – on a positive note, the band finished impressively strong, though during the rest of their time, they just couldn’t match what they produced at the end. 

If there was any indication of a lull or a calming within the crowd between acts, The Ghost Inside shattered it in seconds. It had been a year or two since the last time I got to watch this band (Warped 2012 I believe?) and I think I forgot just how great it is to see then perform. Hearing the crowd shout “What do you stand for?” in unison during “Between the Lines,” fists in the air and house-lights flashing, brought chills. 

Jonathan Vigil took a moment to thank a young girl’s father for bringing her to the show, holding her hand from over the barricade and telling him that it’s more than just screaming, that there’s love and passion in the music. It isn’t just violence, like some would think; it’s about being comfortable with who you are, and more than that, proud of yourself. 

At this point, The Ghost Inside had unquestionably been the best band of the night. 

But, headliner The Devil Wears Prada were not going to allow themselves to be outshined. 

By this point in the night, I had progressively made my way about midway into the center of the venue. Just before the lights went off, a girl found her way into the pit next to me. She was by herself, with X’s on her hands, dressed in a worn TDWP t-shirt that had visibly been shown a lot of attention. She was shaking, excitedly telling me that this was the first time she had ever been able to see her favorite band on her own. 

Then the lights dropped. 
And she started crying. 
She wasn’t crying in a way that was intentional, but it was just that she was smiling so widely that her eyes were watering. 

Entering the stage under low lights, their triangular logo pulsing neon green in the background, they began with “Sailor’s Prayer,“ kicking off an hour-long set that ran nearly uninterrupted, segmented only by waves of applause. 

Favorites like "War,” “Born to Lose, and “Assistant to the Regional Manager” gave extra life to the crowd, as the recorded sample introduction to “Zombie” built tension and eagerness before the song began.

Regardless of my varied pasts with whichever band that was performing, having seen them repeatedly like I Killed the Prom Queen, every once in a while like The Ghost Inside or The Devil Wears Prada, or watching them for the first time like Dangerkids, the night itself was one that I hadn’t experienced in months – no camera slung over my shoulder, no equipment bag hanging at my side, no fear over ruining some of my most-valued possessions.

Just a crowd, a stage, and bands. And it felt remarkable. 

As if the performances weren’t enough, 10% of all ticket sales from Take Action! were donated to charity, furthering Vigil’s conviction that it’s about love and passion, further supporting Dangerkids’ Tyler Smyth’s earlier plea that, even if there are people holding you back or keeping you down, there will always be those who support you, and to never let people tell you that you can’t be yourself. 

Take Action! is winding down soon, but you can, and should, catch three of these (no IKTPQ) bands on the Vans Warped Tour this summer.

The Devil Wears Prada played:
Sailor’s Prayer
Assistant to the Regional Manager
Care More
Born to Lose
First Sight
Danger: Wildman

Written By: Eric Riley

50 Acts You Won’t Want To Miss At SXSW (Part 1)

Since none of us here at Lucy Out Loud will be able to attend SXSW this year, we’ve put together a list of 50 acts(in no particular order) we think those of you that are attending shouldn’t miss! 

To check out our first installment (acts 1-10), click “Read More”!

*Note: some acts we’ve included are performing at South By So What?! and not South By South West. However, since the festival takes place during the week of South By Southwest, we’ve decided to still include them in our list!

Part 1 (Acts 1-10)

  1. iTCH
    Hip-hop seems to reach further now than it ever has. With this, and the ability to combine punk, pop, and electronic elements into his music, iTCH has been able to create a unique sound with a bit of English charm, adding his name to a short list of artists who have successfully been able to do so. 
    Where to catch iTCH: 3.13 – 9:30pm – SONY Showcase @ Hangar Lounge; 3.14 – 2:20pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ Blind Pig Rooftop; 3.14 – 7:20pm – Audiotree Showcase @ Licha’s Cantina
  2. The Front Bottoms
    Thanks to Brian Sella’s unique voice (which shares a likeness to that of Say Anything’s Max Bemis or Andrew Jackson Jihad’s Sean Bonnette) and the duo’s clever lyrics, The Front Bottoms have built a huge following for themselves, proving that just because their music may not sound the prettiest, that doesn’t mean it isn’t pretty.
    Where to catch The Front Bottoms: 3.12 – 1:30pm – Run For Cover Records/Brixton Agency Showcase @ The Liberty; 3.12 – 6pm – The Chris Gethard Showcase @ Esther’s Follies; 3.12 – 11pm – BrooklynVegan Showcase @ Red 7 Patio; 3.14 – 8pm – APA Official Showcase @ The Palm Door; 3.14 – 1am – Bar None Showcase @ Valhalla
  3. Dangerkids
    Dangerkids are one of the few bands who have been able to successfully merge the worlds of electronic hardcore and rap/rock. Their debut album near the tail-end of 2013 was well-received and ambitious, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see them have a big year this year. 
    Where to catch Dangerkids: 3.16 – South By So What?! @ Quiktrip Park
  4. The Trash Pop Icons
    Fronted by sisters Nadia and Naomi Zep, the group has made a name for themselves throughout the San Francisco Bay area. The group’s debut album, A Way With Words, has a sound for any type of listener and an energy that is sure to translate to the stage.
    Where to catch The Trash Pop Icons: 3.12 – 12pm – Big Picture Media Showcase @ Thirsty Nickel; 3.12 – 4pm – Texas Rockfest @ Shiner’s Saloon, 3.13 – 7pm – Texas Rockfest @ Blue Moon; 3.14 – 7pm – Lot323’s Shocase @ the corner of Colorado & 4th
  5. Tiny Moving Parts
    If mewithoutYou and La Dispute conceived a child at a pop/punk show, the result would be Minnesota’s Tiny Moving Parts. Sharp, quick, and harsh, their music is personal and begs to be shouted.
    Where to catch Tiny Moving Parts: 3.14 – Between 12pm and 6pm – Charlie Says “Fest!” @ 2326 E Cesar Chavez St.
  6. letlive.
    We’ve heard a lot about letlive. over the last few years or so. And there’s a justified reason for why they’ve had the huge years that they’ve had. When the LA five-piece performs, they leave every ounce of them on their stage and with the fans. Whether you know this band or not, they’re one you’ll be disappointed for missing.
    Where to catch letlive.: 3.15 – South By So What?! @ Quiktrip Park
  7. From Indian Lakes
    Following a year that included their first headline tour, as well as an opening spot for The Main and Anberlin and recognition as one of Alternative Press’ 100 Bands You Need to Know in 2014, California’s From Indian Lakes are poised to have a great follow-up year.
    Where to catch From Indian Lakes: 3.11 – 7pm – To Write Love on Her Arms Texas UChapter @ Catalyst Teen Center; 3.13 – 12:05 – Equal Vision Records and Pure Noise Records Showcase @ G-Pen Annex; 3.13 – Between 12pm to 1am – The Audiotree Showcase @ Licha’s Cantina

  8. Ashley Allen
    Ashley Allen has all of the makings to be a standout pop star – hooks, looks, and plenty of personality. Her music is undeniably catchy and mainstream-ready, making her an artist to surely watch. 
    Where to catch Ashley Allen: 3.14 – 12pm – High School Nation Tour @ 1121 E. 7th St

  9. Lucius
    I(Eric) first saw Lucius perform at Boston Calling in September. They were one of the lower-billed openers, but they had everyone talking. Donned in identical black-and-white dresses, their staging was, and still is, as intriguing, charming, and distinctive as their music. 
    Where to catch Lucius: 3.12 – 8am – KUTX @ The Four Seasons; 3.12 – 5pm – The Paste Party @ Swan Dive; 3.12 – 10:45 – High Road Touring @ Cedar Street Courtyard; 3.13 – 6pm – Heartbreaker Banquet @ Willie Nelson’s “Luck, TX” Ranch; 3.13 – 12am – The Heart of Austin @ The Market; 3.14 – 6am – KGSR @ The W Hotel; 3.14 – 12pm – SXSW Radio Showcase @ The Convention Center; 3.14 – 4pm – The Tumblr House @ Clive Bar

  10. Chiodos
    Chiodos are one of the most tirelessly-working groups out there. After a couple of years that saw a revolving door or lineup changes, 2013 was a return to form. Now, with an extensive tour schedule and a new album on its way, they’re set to retake their territory in 2014.
    Where to catch Chiodos: 3.14 – South By So What?! @ Quiktrip Park 

Review:: Collapse | Dangerkids

As Collapse, the debut album from Dayton, Ohio’s Dangerkids begins, it carries with it a bit of a feeling of confusion. The use of heavy, intense sampling at the start of the record made me double-check to make sure my album wasn’t skipping.

But, after that brief instance of uncertainty settles, any second-guessings that the album brought disappear.

There are risks taken with this album. With the sound that Dangerkids aim for – harsh instrumentals, layered with a combination of textbook guttural screams paired with quick hip-hop lyricism, it’s an impressive relief to hear them get it right. For every artist to successfully capture this sound, there are a handful of others who get bogged down in mediocrity.

While the intensity rings throughout Collapse, it hits a high point near the midway point. The ambient “Unmade” begins with a deep breath and gives the album a chance to regain its composure, while the following “Where the Sky Breaks” intermission allows for further serenity.

“Dust” acts as a second interlude, starting with swaying strings and timid piano, building and growing with layered synthesizer and echoing drums before the concluding “Cut Me Out” crawls in. As a whole, the album displays the band’s combinative sounds with the majority of the tracks. With “Cut Me Out,” they capitalize on the use of the closing spot and, rather than ending with just another hip-hop/metal song, they lean heavier on clean vocals with supporting screams, delivering one of Collapse’s best performances.

On Collapse, the band produces a sound that is a mixture of electronic hardcore and rap/rock that is a very, very tricky median to reach successfully. While the idea may sound gimmicky to a closed mind, when the group’s seamless execution is heard, their ambitious vision comes to the forefront and the end product is a real treat.

Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Rating: 3.5/5
Runtime: 39:07

1. countdown
2. light escapes
3. hostage
4. we’re all in danger
5. waking up
6. destroy yourself
7. unmade
8. where the sky breaks
9. paper thin
10. fractions
11. dust
12. cut me out

Dangerkids is:
Andy Bane – Vocals
Tyler Smyth – Vocals/Emcee
Jake Bryant – Guitar
Jake Bonham – Bass
Katie Cole – Drums

Written By: Eric Riley