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performance, the revved up crowd went wild as The Dangerous Summer started their set, all expectations met; maybe even superseded.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