I went to Recher Theater to see the Shh...It Happens Tour, featuring Every Avenue, Valencia, Cash Cash, Sparks the Rescue and Phone Calls From Home. I'll admit, I mostly went to see Valencia, though I do like Every Avenue. Personally, I wish it was a co-headlining tour between Valencia and Every Avenue, but I guess Every Avenue is more popular overall.
Phone Calls From Home played first. They are a three-piece band from Boston. I think they were added last minute, but they seemed up for the challenge. They came onstage to a theme from my past, Backstreet Boy's "I Want It That Way", and burst into some mediocre pop-punk. Sure vocalist David Place was good-looking enough to keep my interest, but as a fan of pop and pop-punk music, this band didn't really catch my interest. There were a couple of songs towards the end of their set that I might like to hear again, but nothing really stood out to me. It was typical pop-punk, full of whoa's and a couple of ballads. If anything, they sounded a little bit like fellow Boston-area's Boys Like Girls.
Next on the bill was Sparks the Rescue from Maine. I checked these guys out when I saw they were signed to Fearless Records. My first impression was that I didn't like the vocals, which is a huge thing for me as a fan of primarily pop music. Apparently the band has changed their sound a little on their new record. Since I had not heard their previous work, I can only judge their performance on what I saw. It was definitely energetic, full of mic swinging and a lot of movement. I actually liked vocalist Alex's voice better live. I think I will give this band a second chance and check them out again.
Next up was Valencia. They are absolutely one of my favorite bands. I have seen them live multiple times and been a fan since "This Could Be A Possibility". Their new cd "We All Need a Reason to Believe" is full of pop-rock gems. They are one of the most sincere and emotional bands in the scene. They do pop-rock the way it should be. Vocalist Shane Henderson has been through a lot losing his long-time girlfriend, and it definitely shows on all of the songs from their latest cd. Their live show is full of energy and sing-alongs. It seemed that a lot of the crowd was there for Valencia, so the room was moving. Their set consisted of songs from WANARTB and a few older ones from TCBAP. Some of the songs they played were "The Good Life", "3000 Miles", "The Space Between", "Where Did You Go", and "Safe To Say".
Cash Cash played after Valencia, which I thought was an absolute travesty. Believe me, I'm all for a good hook in a pop song, but when I heard the sound check for Cash Cash, I knew I was in for another horrible neon, electronic crappy band. I tried to check out their Myspace for some info on the band, but it is so full of neon crap, that I couldn't find anything. I really don't understand this whole electronic fad. All of their songs sounded the same and had the same beat. The band members were wearing girl jeans and head bands and one even had a keytar. There was a ten year old girl standing next to me and she was singing along to their single "Party In Your Bedroom". What has the world come to? Apparently they are signed to a major label too.
Michigan's Every Avenue headlined the show. I think they stand out a little bit from a lot of other pop-rock bands because of vocalist Dave. They started off with fan favorite "Trading Heartbeats", then went right into "Chasing the Night", "Story To Tell Your Friends", "Think Of You Later", "Never Knew Me" and "Freak Out". Then they slowed it down a little with "Between You And I". They finished out with "Days of the Old" and their most popular track "Where Were You". Overall, because of the slower tempo of their songs, I think they were a little less energetic than Valencia, but they definitely kept my interest. I've seen them a few times before, but this was probably the best they sounded.
Because of venue issues, I was able to take photos of Sparks the Rescue, then they decided I wasn't allowed to photograph anyone else except Every Avenue. I really don't understand Recher Theater sometimes. Every show I have ever been to allows me to photograph all of the bands if I have a pass from the headliner. I took photos of Valencia from back in the crowd, so they're not my best work, but they were one of the bands I drove 100 miles to photograph!
Here are my top albums of the year, based mostly on how much I listened to them.
1.) The Mile After Armada
2.) Cinematic Sunrise - A Coloring Storybook and Long-Playing Record
3.) Jacks Mannequin The Glass Passenger
4.) Mercy Mercedes Casio Rodeo EP
5.) Valencia - We All Need a Reason to Believe
6.) Relient K The Bird and the Bee Sides
7.) Forever the Sickest Kids - Underdog Alma Mater
8.) The All-American Rejects - When the World Comes Down
9.) Danger Radio Used and Abused
10.) The Audition Champion
11.) My Favorite Highway How to Call A Bluff
12.) The Matches A Band In Hope
13.) The Morning Of - The World As We Know It
14.) The Cab - Whisper War
15.) You, Me, and Everyone We Know - So Young, So Insane
16.) The Academy Is... - Fast Times at Barrington High
17.) Jet Lag Gemini Fire the Cannons
18.) Hey Monday - Hold on Tight
19.) Hit the Lights - Skip School, Start Fights
20.) We Shot the Moon Fear and Love
21.) SOTY The Black Swan
22.) Sing It Loud - Come Around
23.) Houston Calls - The End of an Error
Wow, I haven't written in here for awhile! I usually just update my myspace blog. I guess I'll use this to talk about my photography and such. I just posted some photos of A Change of Pace on avoidthescene.com.
I'm seeing Cartel this Sunday and shooting all of the bands, so I hope to get those up asap. I'm on spring break now and it's fitting that the only concert I'm really going to is the Sunday before classes!
Speaking of photos and such, everyone should visit and/or participate in bandgallery.com. There are alof of talented photographers on there and photos of all of your favorite bands.