After having Close The Distance for a week, I can already say this is the record Jason Lancaster was born to write.
This time, Go Radio take a more pop-rock route than gritty pop-punk - and it's the perfect direction for them. The songs exhibit Lancaster's ability to manipulate melodies and choruses in order to truly pack a punch. To accomplish this, song structure allows each song to build and grow into a chorus, making Close The Distance the most dynamic collection of songs Lancaster has written. Each song being penned in a way that builds anticipation for the hook. This is exactly how pop-rock music should be done - take notes.
I don't want to give away too much until my official review, but just know that if you're a fan of Go Radio's previous material, this tops that again and again. Whereas Lucky Street was a perfect balance of gritty - tracks like "Kill The Beast" - and sentimental pop-rock tunes - I'm looking at "Hold On" - Close The Distance eliminates the gap between the two, closing the distance, and has Go Radio going right down the piano-pop-rock path. This is the road they've been destined to take for years, and it's one that will put a huge smile on your face track after track.
I wasn't sure if Go Radio could top Lucky Street with the perfect Fall record, but Close The Distance is the record they've always been supposed to make - it's catchy, melodic, and meticulous. Come September, this is the record that will get the guys the attention they've always deserved.
Go Radio's sophomore record, Close The Distance, drops September 18th via Fearless. Listen to "Go To Hell" and "Collide"
The Lucky Street Tour: Go Radio, This Providence, Tyler Carter, Ivory Lights
House Of Blues in Dallas, TX on April 18, 2012
After seeing Go Radio twice within the past year (once on Warped, once opening for Yellowcard), I was amped to finally see the guys on a headlining stint, as it’s about time they got a full-length set in. Sure enough, it was well worth the wait, as the Tallahassee rockers owned the stage.
Unfortunately I missed Ivory Lights set, so the first set I caught was Tyler Carter’s. Having not heard much about him since his departure from Woe, Is Me, I was very interested in how his solo performance would sound – think…Jonny Craig/Kurt Travis meets Top-40 pop radio (Justin Timberlake style). Sure enough, he didn’t sound half bad, as there’s no denying he has a mean set of pipes. He even did an a Capella song due to a technical error, nailing every note. Definitely keep a look out for what he has up his sleeve with his upcoming EP – and be sure to have an open mind.
Up next Seattle’s This Providence were up. Having only been a casual listener of the band, I was very impressed with their set – especially vocalist Daniel Young’s rowdy, powerful presence as a front man. The crowd went nuts for lush “My Beautiful Rescue,” as nearly everyone belted out the chorus. The gritty “Trouble” sounded huge live, as This Providence have that slick rock ‘n roll swag that fills the stage from end to end. Playing quite a few cuts off their rocking upcoming EP, Brier, the guys definitely had a lot to offer for their fans.
And then Go Radio took the stage to deafening sirens as they kicked off the set with “Lucky Street.” As always, Jason Lancaster had a commanding stage persona, full of energy and passion. Taking full advantage of their lengthy set – over an hour – they plowed through nearly every track on Lucky Street. They put the pedal to the metal on rocking jams such as “Redemption in the Verse,” “Kill The Beast,” and “Letters and Love Notes,” proving yet again why they are easily one of the most talented bands on Fearless today.
However, the romantic that he is, Lancaster didn’t hesitate to slow down the set, spending about half the set behind the piano. Serenading the crowd with the intimate “House of Hallways,” “Hold On,” and “Why I’m Home,” Go Radio really brought the whole package. The show was a healthy blend of heavy and light, perfect for all fans. Finishing the set with the poignant “The Truth Is” – which the whole crowd belted out every lyric of – into an encore of “What If You Don’t” – Jason’s favorite track off their upcoming record, a touching ballad at its finest – into the lovely “Goodnight Moon,” Go Radio could not have played a more balanced, ideal set.
As the night ended, the concert proved the power and potential of Go Radio. Only a couple EPs and one record into the game, the guys seem to have their best foot forward, making the anticipation for their sophomore effort grow by the week.
The whole foundation of this tour clearly is the fans, made clear band after band and track and track. It was a loud night and most of all, it was a night to appreciate live rock music.
Yellowcard with Go Radio and Every Avenue – House Of Blues in Dallas, TX on November 13, 2011
Growing up with Ocean Avenue constantly in my stereo, Yellowcard have really meant a lot to me throughout the years. With Paper Walls being a monumental record for them and When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes being a wonderful return, the guys continuously prove why they still have such a name for themselves. Therefore, when I found out about their show, I couldn’t wait to attend. Likewise, my love for Go Radio – it was my second time seeing them this year – and Every Avenue made my anticipation for the show grow even greater. Go Radio started the night relatively early, but they didn’t waste any time. Sticking mainly to Lucky Street cuts, Lancaster and crew tore through the set list. As full of energy and excitement as ever, the band was incredibly entertaining, as expected. Racing through “Kill The Beast” and slowing down with the beautiful “Goodnight Moon” – joined by Yellowcard’s Sean Mackin on violin for that one – Go Radio really killed it. They even played their energetic cover of “Rolling in the Deep,” demonstrating Lancaster’s vocal abilities first hand.
Every Avenue followed with their Southern rock swag. Opening with “Tie Me Down,” the fellow Fearless band were quite a blast live. Other Bad Habits numbers such as “Whatever Happened To You” and the mellow “Only Place I Call Home” proved the skill of vocalist David Strauchman on the stage. The guys were amped up and ready to rock, finishing with the addictive “Tell Me I’m A Wreck” to a crowd belting out the hooks.
After an impressive light show and intro, Yellowcardtook the stage. Simply put, the crowd went nuts the whole time, as it was the first tour Yellowcard have headlined in six years. Opening with “For You, And Your Denial,” Yellowcard played over 20 songs – just about a two hour long set. The guys knew exactly what the fans wanted to hear, playing various hits from all their records – and even some surprises (yes I mean you “Avondale”).
“Only One” had the whole crowd absolutely screaming their lungs out with Key, while the poignant “Empty Apartment” and “Sing For Me” – which Key played alone, acoustically – were sentimental and intricate. LP also played an impressive drum solo piece in there, as well. Although being such a long set, Yellowcard never lost an ounce of energy, being as fun and amped up as ever, with a crowd that couldn’t wait for the next song.
Key came into the crowd multiple times, while Mackin, Mendez, and O’Donnell were incredibly amusing on the stage – talkative, friendly, and excited. Older cuts such as “Breathing” and of course “Way Away” were colossal, while the rare “Cut Me, Mick” and new “See Me Smiling” really brought everything together, making the whole show really timeline Yellowcard’s discography in brilliant fashion. The set list couldn’t have been better.
Playing not one but four encores, the guys made it clear that this was a show all about reuniting for the fans – that the band is centered around the fans. Finishing with the huge “Ocean Avenue,” Yellowcard could not have played a stronger set or show. The show proved all the more that Yellowcard are still just as young and lively as ever – not that that should be a surprise to anyone.
Easily one of the most memorable nights of my life, I cannot recommend seeing this show any more. From the stellar opening bands to the absolutely monumental performance by Yellowcard, the night was an absolute blast for everyone.