Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Waking Ashland / The Audition / Torn from Red / West Fairview / some other band whose name I can’t remember
The Championship, Lemoyne, PA
Probably the first thing you’ll notice about this review is that I couldn’t remember the name of the first opening band. This isn’t to say that they were so horrendously bad that I completely blocked them out of my recent memory; if that was the case, I wouldn’t have even listed this unknown band in the list of performers. The fact that I made the effort to mention that there was another band means that if they practiced every day for the next year, THEN played another show I attended, I would more than likely bother to remember their name. Another pet peeve that I had was that the lead singer, who looked like a 16 year old boy badly in need of a haircut, incessantly complained about it being excessively hot, yet didn’t think that this could be alleviated by removing or unzipping his hoodie. But that wouldn’t be the scene thing to do.
After this first nameless band that wanted to be Atreyu, or some equally as mediocre metal core band, West Fairview took the stage. I must admit, I didn’t expect much from them, based solely on listening to their purevolume site prior to attending the show. However, though their music was somewhat bland and formulaic pop-punk, their guitarist was quite talented, and his stage antics and enthusiasm managed to hold my attention for their set. A Christian band, Torn From Red, played next, and much like West Fairview, their music online was inferior to what I heard live. A self proclaimed “emotional driven rock and roll band”, Torn From Red lived up to their name, burning through an energetic set and ending with a touching ballad. While this strategy failed to rile the crowd like most bands do, it better served to bring a more fitting closure to their set.
The next band was one of Victory Record’s newest additions to their roster: The Audition. If asked how to describe their sound, I would put them on the spectrum of music somewhere between Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday. I realize this is a small portion of said spectrum, but Victory Records only signs bands that sound like Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday. Despite this, I find the song “Dance Halls Turn to Ghost Towns” extremely catchy. They play an infectious brand of tongue-in-cheek pop-rock that’s great to sing along with, and put on a great live show as well. The playful antics of the vocalist were a much needed breath of fresh air after the relatively sedentary vocalist of Torn From Red.
Lastly, Waking Ashland took the stage. I realized prior to the beginning of their set that they would have to rely heavily on their musical prowess and sing-along qualities instead of a stage show, being that their vocalist also doubled as their keyboardist. Despite the lack of movement, the energy of their set rivaled nearly all the other bands that performed. Their own brand of powerful piano driven rock held the attention of even the most inattentive audience member (i.e. yours truly) and the music itself sounded like a near carbon copy of their CD. While some might consider this a downside, in my opinion, it made their set all the more enjoyable based on my ability to flex my completely inept vocal abilities and sing along, without worrying about some odd change in the lyrics or music that could potentially make me look like an idiot.
Aside from forgetting a band name, and having to listen to sub-par purevolume recordings beforehand, this show was relatively enjoyable. Of course, having my eyes gouged out and having to swallow them down to my colon would probably be more enjoyable than the last show (link to http://www.independentclauses.com/id231.html) I attended. Cheers!