Interview with Nick Diener of The Swellers.
Interview with Jonas Sees In Color.
June 25th, 2013
Driving into Boston was a bittersweet ride Tuesday afternoon. The Chicago Blackhawks came into Boston and won the Stanley Cup on the Bruins’ home ice Monday night, but the sting of the loss didn’t have much time to reside with me – because Tuesday night was a punk show.
Ballyhoo! and Authority Zero made their way through Boston, about mid-way through their co-headlining Summer Sickness Tour, each with an album’s worth of new material in-hand. With some help from opening act Versus the World, the night was a blaring swirl of punk, pop, and reggae fused into a few hours.
There was a bit of confusion at the box office, so I wasn’t able to catch the first opener, but through the doors, they sounded pretty great. But at 7:30 when Versus the World took the stage, I forgot about the previous drama and witnessed a pleasant surprise. The brief 45-minute set worked great as an opening act – passionate, talented, and entertaining. They began without much audience attention, but by the closing notes, they had a room of new fans.
I’ve known of Authority Zero for years, and they’ve always been one of those groups that I’ve heard about and meant to check out when I had time. Man, I really should have. Around half past 8:00, the band took the stage. And, with that, they took complete control over the venue. Their set was just around an hour, but they crammed their hearts into every second of it, not wasting a moment with their fans that “came out to have some fucking fun, even on a Tuesday night.”
Lastly, to wrap up the night – one that has already impressed me immensely, was Ballyhoo! Their fusion of alternative, reggae, punk, and pop swam throughout the room better than most bands I’ve seen. After the first note, singer/guitarist Howi Spangler urged and motioned the crowd to get as close to the stage as they could.
And we all did.
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, a room filled with a mixture of diehard fans and new listeners swayed and sang for the better part of an hour. From the start of their set, through a round of shots, a plethora of guitar solos, and what seemed to be the crowd favorite “Meat Head,” the energy was relentless and unending.
Even without knowing the bands’ discographies, it was still one of the most entertaining and all-around impressive shows I’ve seen in a while. The contrasts of Versus the World’s pop-punk, leading to Authority Zero’s fast, heavy punk rock, followed by the genre-mixed Ballyhoo!, it was a lineup combination that drew varied fanbases into the pit, but helped lead each one of them out the doors at the end of the night with ringing ears and smiles on their faces.
Ballyhoo!’s Pineapple Grenade, Authority Zero’s The Tipping Point, and Versus the World’s Drink. Sing. Live. Love. are all available now.
No Other Place
Brick in the Wave
Take Or Leave It
For The Kids
Today We Heard the News
The Tipping Point
Taking On the World
One More Minute
Chili Con Crudo
Lift One Up
Big Bad World
Get It Right
Find Your Way
Close to Me
She Wants to Destroy Me
Lost at Sea
Outta My Mind
Written By: Eric Riley
This past Friday night, the “PureVolume Presents” tour kicked-off at The Studio @ Webster Hall in New York City, featuring Cute Is What We Aim For supported by friends The Dangerous Summer and up-and-coming Buffalo, NY band, Made Violent. To say the least, these boys presented nothing short of a good time and despite the stormy weather that ensued due to tropical storm Andrea, the devoted fans of these bands braved the rain and came out to what ended up being a sold-out show. There was even a line already forming down the block an hour before show time.
When 7 o’clock rolled around and everyone was inside trying to dry off and get warm, local band Off City Limits opened the show, doing what they could to get the obviously frozen bodies in the audience moving. Their efforts aside, it didn’t seem like they had what it took to warm up the crowd; luckily the boys of Made Violent did.
Though a relatively new band, I can definitely see why they were picked up by PureVolume for this tour. Taking the stage in front of a seemingly unenthusiastic crowd can be mighty intimidating for any musician, especially when most of the crowd is there for someone that isn’t you. Unfazed by this, though, these four young men took the stage with confidence and gusto. By their second song they had the whole room’s attention and most of the crowd moving. Not only was I surprised by Made Violent’s great stage presence, which isn’t usually something I see from bands so fresh out of the womb, but having just their only single (until recently), “DevilAngel”, to judge from, I was also very happily surprised by the energetic and fun music these guys put out. Of course, that’s not to say “DevilAngel” is a bad song, it just wouldn’t be something you’d find on my “Feel Good, Let’s Rage” playlist…nor am I admitting that such a playlist exists…Regardless, after seeing their performance Friday night, I’m definitely interested in seeing what these boys will bring to the table next and I highly recommend checking them out. They just released their latest single, “Karaoke”, less than a week ago and you can find it on their Facebook page, linked at the bottom of this page.
Following Made Violent’s stellar performance, the revved up crowd went wild as The Dangerous Summer started their set, all expectations met; maybe even superseded. I’ve known singer, AJ, for a long time now and have seen this band perform more times than I can even remember, so you can trust me when I say that this was definitely one of the best performances I’ve seen these guys put on. Having just announced the release date for their latest full-length album, Golden Record (August 8th), on top of releasing their first single off the album, “Catholic Girls”, you could tell the guys were feeling good and were stoked to be back on tour. And even with their recent news and having released their last album just under 2 years ago, The Dangerous Summer put no limits when selecting their set list, playing obvious fan favorites, no matter how old they were. Despite the road bumps these guys have stumbled across throughout their career and the countless rumors that have followed, it’s refreshing to see they still have the same passion I saw in them years ago. And even though I can’t say I was the biggest fan of their the album War Paint, seeing this band live is always a pleasure and they have me looking forward to the release of their new record.
Now, I’d be lying if I said I knew any song by Cute Is What We Aim For that wasn’t off The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch, which came out a few weeks short of 7 years ago. I can’t even tell you that I know every song off that album. What I can tell you is that nothing will stop me from saying their set was probably my absolute favorite of the night. I don’t know if it’s because the last time I even saw them live was 5 or 6 years ago, but the sincerity expressed by CIWWAF singer, Shaant, when addressing his fans had me in awe the entire night. Granted, being the rock/power pop band they are, they put on a set full of permeative energy, lasting a full hour and through an equally outstanding encore. Despite their full band hiatus that seemed to have lasted until this past fall/early winter, the band definitely looks like they’re back with a vengeance and stronger than ever! They’ve released a few singles already, but I’m ready to see a record from these guys too.
To be entirely honest, Friday night was a taste of fresh air that I haven’t experienced since 2007. I expected to see young adults already in their 20s, the crowd I grew up with…when independent music flourished. But when I saw kids who were clearly younger, enjoying themselves with the same energy I had as a teenager, I left The Studio with hope. Just like the members of Cute came back in full force, maybe the underground music scene will have it’s own reprise.
Written By: Linda Echeverry
Just because there’s a lockout during hockey season this year doesn’t mean that Saturdays in Boston aren’t entertaining. Luckily for us, when our sports bail on us, we’ve still got our music.
And when The Hush Sound rolled into Cambridge for a pair of concerts, the fans knew to expect something great.
Coming back from hiatus, bands always run the risk of having lost their original spark. Maybe their chemistry faded with time, maybe the fans outgrew them, or maybe it just isn’t the same way it used to be. Then again, in regards to the Chicago quartet, all of this is fortunately hypothetical, because they were as spot-on as I’ve ever heard them.
Opening their sold-out second show of the day (following a pick-the-setlist fan-voted matinee) with “Honey,” the group came out in full force, saying a quick hello before diving into a nearly uninterrupted seventy-minute set consisting of songs from all three albums.
With the exception of a few brief guitar tunings and applause breaks after each song, the show flew by. Crowd favorites like “Medicine Man” and “Wine Red” had fans singing along, while the slow “Magnolia” calmed down the sold-out room.
The highlight of the night was obviously the music, magnified hugely by the fact that a band who were an alumni a few weeks ago were now standing onstage again. But putting that aside, the group’s collaboration with one another is what was so key – cracking smiles and making jokes, constantly thanking the crowd and calling us beautiful (aww, shucks), it was an added level of awesomeness. The audience devoured their cheesy humor, including one instance of Salpeter paying homage to their Chicagoan roots by welcoming us to “TT Da Bear’s.”
After only a minute or so of a rest, they came back onstage for a short encore. Rob Morris and Greta resumed the show, with an acoustic rendition of “The Artist.” While the rest of the group rejoined the vocal duo, Salpeter messed around on her keys, practicing for her dream job – singing lounge-singer renditions of old Limp Bizkit songs, playing a quick (and tolerable) version of “Break Stuff.”
The night came to a close with the crowd-voted “You Are My Home,” a track they say they rarely get to play live and didn’t have time for at their earlier show. As the song faded out and the band said their second round of goodbyes, the crowd still cheered for more. But what the band did spectacularly was leave us with that – feeling satisfied, but still wanting more. They played a marathon set, hardly stopping to even hear applause, but kept the same high energy throughout.
As far as reunion shows go, it was brilliant. As a concert in general, had you not known about their previous hiatus, you wouldn’t have guessed that this band had ever taken a break.
Let’s hope they’re done with those.
- Not Your Concern
- Don’t Wake Me Up
- Sweet Tangerine
- We Intertwined
- Love You Much Better
- As You Cry
- Wine Red
- The Boy’s Too Refined
- Carry Me Home
- Medicine Man
- The Artist (acoustic)
- You Are My Home (full band)
Date: November 17th, 2012
Venue: TT the Bear’s. Cambridge, MA.
Set time: 75 Minutes.
Openers: Tommy & the High Pilots, Destry
Written By: Eric Riley