metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
indie spins

Concert Reviews

The Night I Sang With The Rocket Summer

Photo by: Braverijah Gregg

“I won’t settle down, won’t settle down.”

These are lyrics that I’ve held close to my heart since discovering The Rocket Summer in early 2022. I’m late to the party, I know, but better late than never. Listening to his song “200,000,” about a million times last year, it ended up reaching the top of my Apple Music Year In Review and remains a staple on my everyday playlist. There’s something about the intimate lyrics and staccato piano hits that make me feel like I’m in a coming-of-age movie. 

That is why I was so excited to see The Rocket Summer last night in Atlanta on the Shadowkasters Tour, supporting his latest record of the same name. Dropping in May via Aviate Records, his new album is more experimental compared to his earlier stuff, yet still reflects the raw, scene-kid emotion that put him on the map. 

Hellogoodbye kicked the night off with a high-energy set, which was mostly curated by the fans in the room. Lead singer Forrest Kline put the power in our hands, which inevitably led to the band playing cult sing-along favorites like “Oh, It Is Love” and “(Everything) Is Debatable.” The crowd cheered when each request was accepted, which made the energy in the room even more electrifying than before. Forrest alternated between playing keys, jamming on his sampler pad, and dancing with the crowd. They ended the performance with a chaotic version of “Here (In Your Arms),” which began stripped down and turned into a Myspace-era rendition of “All Star” by Smash Mouth. It was obviously unplanned, but the fans enjoyed the surprise mashup, jumping and fist-bumping to the kick-drum. Their set was the perfect introduction back into the Hot Topic era we were all experiencing during our high school years. 

Read More: Anthony Green Announces US Solo Tour This Summer

Then The Rocket Summer graced the stage, opening the set with an emotional performance of “Stuck Inside Your Light.” Alone with his Flying V guitar and looping station, Bryce Avery sang each note with intention. There was a palpable sense of joy that spread from his voice to the entire room of fans. Smiling from ear to ear, he was then joined by his bandmates to perform “Break It Out” and “So Much Love.” Two tracks off of his 2007 record Do You Feel,  the songs were full of life with the live arrangement. Bryce’s vocals were just as crystal clear as he when he recorded them on the record.

Interspersing new songs from Shadowkasters with his piano pop-rock classics, Bryce listened to our requests and gave us powerful renditions of songs like “Goodbye Waves and Driveways,” when he brought his guitar into the crowd. 

Singing With The Rocket Summer

And then, it happened. 

“So this next song was a request by a girl named Maggie,” Bryce said into the microphone. “I’m pretty sure that’s you, right?” he asked me, pointing in my direction. 

I couldn’t believe it. Posting my cover of “200,000” on my Instagram story two days prior, I hoped that he would play my favorite song live. Turns out he saw it and made it a part of the set. 

“Maggie has one of the greatest voices ever, and this song is dedicated to her. It’s called ‘200,000,’” he said before playing that iconic piano intro. 

But that wasn’t the end of it. After singing the first chorus, Bryce motioned for me to come onstage and sing the rest with him. I felt a rush of adrenaline from his kind request and pulled myself onstage to sing the rest of the song. It was a surreal moment to see the crowd cheering me on and see Bryce’s smile of encouragement when I took the microphone. The kindness and respect I received both onstage and offstage as both an artist and a fan gave me goosebumps at that moment.

I belted it out as much as I could, hitting high notes and harmonies that I had practiced in my shower for months. Fans were dancing and cheering me on as Bryce gave me a moment to sing on my own. At the end of the performance, he gave me a warm hug. 

“I’m sorry to put you on the spot, you sound amazing!” he said. 

I thanked him for giving me the chance. 

Building The Human Connection

When one of your favorite bands plays a song you hold dear, it means so much. And when this same band invites you to be a part of the experience, it reminds you why you love music in the first place. The whole reason why concerts are so special is because of the human connection that is built between the listener and the artist. When you feel like the artist is listening to you, or cares as deeply about you as you do about their work, something special happens. This is exactly how I felt at this moment, and I could tell others felt the same.

In the song “200,000,” Bryce sings that “all good things come to an end.” But watching The Rocket Summer‘s two-hour set, I was hopeful it would last forever. 

Check out the band’s upcoming tour dates below and grab your tickets to see this killer show here.

Tour Dates:

  • June 17—Greensboro, NC @ Hangar 1819
  • June 18—Nashville, TN @ The Basement East
  • June 20—Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore Philadelphia
  • June 21—New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
  • June 23—Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
  • June 24—Syracuse, NY @ The Song & Dance
  • June 25—Richmond, VA @ Canal Club
  • June 27—Warrendale, PA @ Jergel’s Rhythm Grille
  • June 29—Toronto, ON @ Velvet Underground
  • June 30—Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch
  • July 1—Columbus, OH @ Woodlands Tavern
  • July 2—Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
  • July 3—St. Louis, MO @ THE OLD ROCK HOUSE
  • July 5—Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater 
  • July 7—Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
  • July 8—Las Vegas, NV @ Backstage Bar & Billiards
  • July 9 —Los Angeles, CA @ Knitting Factory – North Hollywood
  • July 11—Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
  • July 12—Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad 
We utilize cookie technology to collect data regarding the number of visits a person has made to our site. This data is stored in aggregate form and is in no way singled out in an individual file. This information allows us to know what pages/sites are of interest to our users and what pages/sites may be of less interest. See more