The Highline Ballroom held an enormous line as the doors opened for the Paradise Fears crowd. As the first band began, it was apparent that the techs knew what they were doing with their active and alluring lighting, along with their astounding sound system. Each member of the audience was an engaged and enthusiastic participant for every band.
We Are Stations kicked off the night. They had an energetic and upbeat stage presence that had everyone in the audience dancing. Though some of their lyrics were slightly cliché, they were optimistic and came across as remarkably happy which, in turn, made the audience happy to be there. The band incorporated diverse instrumentation with a keyboard that was uniquely and correctly utilized with their music. They were a wonderful choice to get the energy elevated for the entire night.
After We Are Stations finished their last song, William Beckett took the stage. Formerly of The Academy Is…, William Beckett has created a name for himself as a solo artist after touring on the Acoustic Basement stage at Warped Tour last summer. He had many jokes to share that made everyone laugh, including having an intense introduction where the lights dimmed and he made a dramatic appearance which he did after playing his first song. He taught his lyrics to the audience for certain songs and made sure they were enjoying singing along with him. He had a captivating stage presence for a solo artist with only an acoustic guitar (and a laptop with additional instrumental sounds). Before he played “Just You Wait,” a song he wrote for his younger sister when they were going through a very difficult time, he had Sam and Michael, the vocalist and keyboardist of Paradise Fears, come on stage to help him out. The lyrics, “No one else seems to have it this hard/ No one else has to cover their scars,” seemed to stand out to the entire audience. Overall, Beckett played an intimate, humorous set that was well received.
Against the Current took the stage afterwards. The female vocalist, Chrissy Costanza, had an amazing vocal ability. The band utilized distinct harmonies that amplified their performance. They were constantly in motion which engaged the audience tremendously. They had enjoyable, simple lyrics that brought smiles to everyone witnessing their performance. They covered “Ain’t It Fun,” originally by Paramore, and while this was a moderately stereotypical thing to do with a female-fronted band, they did it justice. They then went on to cover a song by The 1975. The band radiated confidence throughout their entire set which was alluring. During their last song, Against the Current went all out, using every last bit of their energy to leave a fantastic impression.
As they closed, the band everyone had been waiting for began to set up. It took them noticeably longer for them to take the stage, but with good reason. Instead of the standard two guitars, a bass, and a drum kit, this band had three keyboards, an octapad, a drum kit stationed towards the side, along with the other standard instruments. Before the band members took the stage, the lights cut out and a dramatic entrance began. Their dynamic sound, which combines electronic music with an acoustic vibe, entered the venue as they began to play “What Are You Waiting For?” The crowd’s cheers reverberated across the room as their excitement went haywire. As Paradise Fears went through their set, they played their own rendition of Macklemore’s famous song, “Same Love,” including their own verses that went with the rhythm. Towards the middle of the set, they announced that they would do a showcase of their songs from the beginning of their career until their most recent, starting with their most recent. Their songs evoked emotion from their seriously dedicated fan base, many of them wearing Paradise Fears merchandise and some of them even showing off their Paradise Fears tattoos.
It was apparent that everyone in the audience was having a stupendous time as they exploded with joy, singing the lyrics to each song the band played. New York City’s edition of the Live Forever Tour was absolutely marvelous due to the talented musicians and devoted audience that came to admire what the bands put their lives toward.
Written by Sara Barber.
Check out our photo gallery of the show, also taken by Sara, by clicking here!