Alternative Press Tour 08 | The Glasshouse (Pomona, CA) | March 24, 2008 |
As eager kids piled into the Glasshouse in Pomona, California, you could steadily see the venue becoming submersed with adrenaline pumped teens ready for the taste of a powerpop/pop punk rock filled night. The room bustled with conversations and chatter only seized by the arrival of the first band up. You would think being so new to the scene would put a void on this bands fan base, but that didn’t seem to be the case at all for the Dallas, Texas bred band, Forever the Sickest Kids. FTSK are a relatively new band doing very well only after two years of their conception. The band has released two EPs through Universal Motown Records so far and will be releasing their debut album, Underdog Alma Mater, on April 29th. Greeted by cheers, and a few marriage proposals, FTSK began their set with highly energetic, electric enthused, head-bobbing worthy songs that seemed to cause an uproar of dancing and chanting from the crowd. I guess you must expect great things from a band containing song titles like “Believe Me, I’m Lying” and “I Don’t Know About You, But I Came Here To Dance.” Closing the set with the apparent crowd favorite, “She’s A Lady”, FTSK lead the room into a lively, dance motivated opening set.
Next up was a band not new at all to playing packed venues and sold out shows, The Matches. From Oakland, California, The Matches took the stage with definite stage presence and some pretty unique style. With no words or introductions, they started into a new song off of their latest album, A Band of Hope. At first glance you think maybe everyone is just waiting for the chorus to kick in so they won’t waste their energy, but it soon becomes apparent that the mass amount of the crowd is less then appreciative of the band. Personally, I’ve seen the band live before and have never had any complaints, but I guess you can say it just wasn’t their night. Though, the lack of crowd participation may have been a blow to the band’s ego, the enthusiasm and love from their devoted fans made them very easy to point out in the crowd. Like troopers, The Matches enthusiastically finished off their set with the song “Papercut Skin” off of their 2006 release, Decomposer, and with heads held high and a wave to the crowd, they exited the stage possibly turning some new heads.
Third to the stage that night was Sonny Moore, former vocalist of post hardcore quintet From First To Last. Recently, Sonny parted ways with FFTL to pursue his own solo career experimenting with an electro upbeat sound. As Sonny took the stage with the rest of his touring band: Chris Null on guitar, Sean Friday on drums and Aaron Rothe on Synths, there was an immediate surge of energy as the boys began to play. To get a feel of the intensity in the room, take any show you thought was highly energetic and multiply it by ten, now you have a Sonny Moore set. I will definitely stand by my word saying Sonny was my most favored performance of the night. From hopping down into the crowd and singing along with the fans, to not making a big deal when his multi-colored beaded bracelets were ripped to shreds by adoring fans, I’d say Sonny Moore is one heck of a guy and an even better performer.
Next were a band hailing from Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland known as All Time Low. ATL are no strangers to rave reviews and I can definitely see why. The pop rock based band couldn’t go onto the stage without a more than memorable introduction including Eazy E’s “My 6-4“ and a backdrop with a few not so G-Rated words adorning it. Their set was definitely one of the major highlights of the night. Some crowd favorites were “Coffee Shop Soundtrack”, which earned quite the applause when the opening guitar riff kicked in, and “Dear Maria” which is the latest single off of their album So Wrong, It’s Right. I’d encourage anyone to make plans to see this band live. It’s well worth the few bucks and neck cramps from all the dancing!
Now for the headliner of the night and the most kick back band of the bunch, The Rocket Summer, a.k.a. Bryce Avary from Colleyvile, Texas. With a light and soulful brand of pop, TRS exceeds your thoughts of what a one-man band can do. Bryce is known for being very versatile live by doing something called looping. He plays one instrument making a recording of it, then goes to another instrument and does the same til he’s done in two minutes what it take bands days to do! The Rocket Summer is pretty much the epitome of what a good soulful pop band is missing these days; soul. Bryce’s lyrics are sung with heartfelt emotion and shirt clenching catchy notes. Before you know it, you’ll be singing a song you didn’t even know you knew! To get a taste of this beautiful brand of soulful pop rock check out, Do You Feel, The Rocket Summers latest album. – Kim Johnson