During this time of year people seem to get stressed with studying for finals, finding that perfect gift, and avoiding being sick. OnÂ Deceber 19thÂ in New York City, a few hundred fans forgot all of that and took the time to relax and witness some amazing bands. Appropriately decorated for the holidays, Highline Ballroom would become home to the â€œHow Valencia Stole Christmasâ€ tour for it’s last night.
Kicking off the show was a group of scene legends that go by the name of Terrible Things. Made up of Andy Jackson (Hot Rod Circuit), Fred Mascherino (The Color Fred), Josh Eppard (Coheed and Cambria) and Brian Weaver; the bandâ€™s talent shined playing tracks off their debut self-titled release. Starting with the song that shares the same name as both the band and album title then slowing it down with â€œLullabyâ€, it was clear the band was capable of playing a varied range of music. Going through the set it seemed almost effortless as Fred and Andy perfectly exchanged vocals with one another. Though many in the audience were not familiar with Terrible Things, the songs had them nodding along. The greatest response came during single â€œRevolutionâ€ as Fred hoped to captivate the newcomers by having them sing the chorus back to him. Closing the set off with â€œThe Arsonistâ€™s Wifeâ€, a strong performance was had and this band shouldnâ€™t be in an opening slot for much longer.
After having a rough year of losing members, their record being pushed back after becoming label-less, and cancelled tours; Mercy Mercedes let this all subside as the band came out with high energy and a positive attitude. Playing an even mix of both new and old songs, singer Nate Smith belted out poppy lyrics while guitarist $B-Real$ counteracted with blaring guitar solos. Having the crowd at the bandâ€™s focus the whole time, tracks like â€œGet It Darlinâ€ and â€œBelieve Itâ€ got the audience dancing and most known song â€œThe Perfect Sceneâ€ had everyone singing along.
With her raspy voice and tough-girl attitude, Juliet Simms of Automatic Loveletter commanded the stage as soon as she stepped foot onto it. â€œParkerâ€ and â€œHushâ€ shined through and a cover of Harvey Dangerâ€™s â€œFlagpole Sittaâ€ seemed to perk the audience up. During one song the band demanded fist pumping out of the crowd, due to the relative proximity of the Jersey Shore to NYC. The set relied heavily on songs off recent release Truth Or Dare which had charted 23rd on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.
The time everyone was waiting for had finally arrived as Valencia took the stage to a roar of cheers. Â The band opened with â€œConsider Me Deadâ€ and then shifted into â€œWhere Did You Go?â€. Despite reports of vocalist Shane Henderson being sick, he seemed very lively as he ran around the stage making eye contact with every person in the room. Continuing on, the setlist consisted mainly of songs from 2010â€™s Dancing With A Ghost and 2008â€™s We All Need A Reason To Believe.
Thanking the audience for being so great, Shane said â€œWe were going to play one more, but Iâ€™m having so much fun letâ€™s play a couple moreâ€.
The band then proceeded to play oldie â€œAway We Goâ€, which resulted in an enormous audience reaction and sing-a-long. For â€œStop Searchingâ€ the members of the other bands on tour came out to join in on vocals. Since this was a Christmas tour, the band also covered “Father Christmas” byÂ The Kinks, which Valencia had also just released a video for.Â Valencia then played â€œHolidayâ€, which received a strong reaction and slowed things down with â€œI Still Need You Aroundâ€, which Shane stated was about his mother.
After that the band walked off stage, but the lights remained dimmed and chanting from the audience ensued. The band broke into new song â€œPiecesâ€ and the closed with crowd favorite â€œThe Space Betweenâ€.
As the night ended, band members walked around eager to meet fans and put a nice ending to this diverse tour.