NEW YORK – Those walking into Webster Hall’s studio room for The Bring Me Home tour were caught off guard by what was going on around them. Fans were marked with a Closure in Moscow stamp, a cat roamed the venue freely and bands’ equipment was left astray and unguarded. Not to mention it was one o’clock in the afternoon, a time when most of those attending could have just as easily been sleeping.
Starting the show off with a literal blast-off was Rockets and Reasons. The pop-rock band from New Jersey tried to make a good effort, but lacked stage presence and could not keep the crowd’s attention. The instruments drowned out the lead singer’s vocals and the songs did not seem to keep a steady flow, in part because it was the band’s first show with three new members.
Next up were pop-rockers The Life I Lead, which is quickly gaining recognition on the New York alternative scene. A breath of fresh air from the previous band, it commanded the stage with ease. Playing through its entire Me Against You EP, the band kept an upbeat tone throughout as those in the audience could be seen moving around and bobbing along. The song “Confide,” for which the band will be shooting a video in the coming month, arguably received the warmest reaction.
As for the band’s upcoming plans, lead singer Jay Aguirre said that The Life I Lead has a lot on the agenda.
“We are currently entered in the Ernie Ball Battle of The Bands contest and hope to be selected to play the Uniondale, N.Y. date of Warped Tour,” Aguirre said. “The band will also be playing shows throughout the summer and just hopes to get its name out there and its music heard.”
As the performer from the first act of the tour package, Ian Walsh livened up the venue with his unique mix of alternative and pop music. But the combination, with its blend of simple melodies and heavy metal guitar riffs, was odd and did not always translate well throughout the set. And while the band kept the energy high with each song, nothing noteworthy was played.
And then there was We Are The In Crowd. Recently signed to Hopeless Records, the band took to the stage to an eruption of cheers. Vocalists Tay Jardine and Jordan Eckes eased flawleswsly through the songs while bassist Mike Ferri kept up witty stage banter. The band even managed to make a generic cover of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” interesting as a random girl jumped on stage, dancing along and distracting the band. We Are The In Crowd quickly recovered, though, continuing on with its set and ending on a high note with “For The Win.”
Co-headliners Sparks The Rescue took the stage shortly after, once the venue finally seemed to have filled up. Kicking things off with “My Heart Radio,” the band took control of the stage and had the audience singing back every word. Though Sparks recently had a slight shift in the line-up, bringing in guitarist Mike Naran, the new addition seemed to fit right in with the other band members’ outlandish personalities.
The band played songs off its 2009 release Eyes To The Sun as the members interacted well with the crowd, getting everybody involved. Then things slowed down with an acoustic version of “Hello Mexico” before the band closed with fan favorite “Autumn” as Justin Wiley from The Morning Of joined on stage. Afterwards the band members thanked the audience, leaving it more than satisfied with a long overdue New York performance.
Wiley’s The Morning Of closed out the show, playing in support of its upcoming release The Way I Fell In. With a mix of songs off of each of its releases, the band captivated the crowd, insisting that it dance along throughout the whole performance. Highlights of the set included “Let Your Spirit Soar” and new song “Tell Me I’m Wrong.” The band closed out the show with the song “Shine”, a slower song that has also gained much popularity.
In the end, though the show had its ups and downs, it ended on a high note that surely made fans wish it could have lasted longer.