What else goes with ardent singing, animated dancing, bright lights, and I must add – toothsome hairstyles?
The answer is two different bands by the name of Finish Ticket and Vinyl Theatre. They both played at The Rave/Eagles Club Saturday, March 5, 2016 on their headlining Ones To Watch tour. I went in completely unbiased of their music, never listened to any of their songs, and completely unaware of what to expect.
The Opener: Cemetery Sun
The opener was Cemetery Sun, a quartet from northern California. Made up of Josh Doty, Austen Butler, Elliot Polokoff, and Jesse Mancillas, their genre fits agreeably between alternative rock and pop. I found their music exciting, but caught myself turning to my friends more than once exasperated by how many times they told the crowd their band name and that they were from the west coast. However, I must give them credit. I did not forget their name. Despite my annoyance, which may have been because I was sick at a loud concert, I certainly did adore their music and found myself swaying to their songs.
Unfamiliar with their music, a particular song did stick in my head which consequently had me googling intensely to find it. Turns out it’s called “(Hard Drugs) Fake Love” and I recommend giving it a listen.
Irrelevant comment: Out of all of the merchandise for the three bands, Cemetery Sun had the coolest t-shirts!
After a quick and smooth transition, Finish Ticket soared to the stage. Straight from San Francisco, the band is made up of six guys, Brendan Hoye (lead singer), Michael Hoye (bass), Alex DiDonato (guitar), Gabe Stein (drums), Nick Stein (keyboard), and Crim Nguyen (guitar). The first thing that immediately stood out to me was the amount of passion and energy that Hoye presented. He instantaneously reminded me of Kristian Matsson from The Tallest Man On Earth, who is also known for his liveliness, and just as I’ve said for Matsson, Hoye performed as if it were his last show ever.
Not even 24 hours after the show, and I already have their song “Color” added to my playlist and on repeat. That last sentence basically sums up how I felt about their performance and music. I undeniably loved their songs and found them to be the highlight of the entire concert. My favorite part of their performance was when they covered “When You Were Young” by The Killers, mostly because it was the only song I knew and could sing along to. During that cover, I realized how glowing Hoye could surely sing. At one point, I literally questioned if they were performing live. Of course they were. Not only were they insanely interactive with the crowd, they constantly appeared to be having the time of their lives. The pleasure on Hoye’s face was undeniably genuine when the crowd would sing their lyrics. Another song I recommend giving a listen to is “Wrong”, not just because I caught myself dancing to it, but because the guy next to me was insanely into it. Safe to say, Finish Ticket has made me into a total fan-girl and I’ll be buying a ticket if they ever find themselves in Milwaukee again.
Irrelevant comment: Hoye looks exactly like my sociology teacher.
Once Finish Ticket left, the crowd seemed to be even bigger than before. Hugely anticipated, the crowd was getting antsy waiting for the Milwaukee-based indie rock band, Vinyl Theatre. Once a quartet, but now a three man band, they are made up of Keegan Calmes, Chris Senner and Nick Cesarz. Having had an interview with Calmes weeks prior to this show, I knew how excited he and his band members were to be back in their hometown performing for friends, family, and fans. Once they began performing, I could only hear Calmes voice and could not see him. I didn’t know if this was due to my spot in the back or from only being 5’3”, but sure enough Calmes bolted on stage with a leap revealing his stylish blue hair and a symbol painted on his face which I couldn’t make out from where I was standing.
It’s a fair tie over who was more energetic on stage between Calmes and Hoye, but I did wonder at a point how Calmes could still manage to sing faultlessly despite the amount of energy he was using. I for one, would be out of breath. A song that stood out to me was “Breaking Up My Bones”. Another song that I insist all readers to check out is “The Rhythm of Night”. I never heard of it until the show, but was waiting for the performance since Calmes revealed in our interview that this is his favorite song to perform. It was irrefutably clear by his performance that yes, this really is Calmes favorite. It helped that this was one of the last songs of the show. Out of all the songs and the endless dancing and jumping, Vinyl Theatre proved that the hype over them is real and they are definitely going to be blowing up even more than they have.
Was it really a concert if the band left and the crowd chanted “one more song” and then both bands come out and perform together? Yup, they really did that. They covered Third Eye Blind’s “Jumper”, which fit perfectly because Calmes and Hoye sound impeccable together and because “Jumper” sounds like a song each of the bands would create themselves. Once the duet was over, Vinyl Theatre ended with their last song and said their goodbyes and off they went. The show left me with an overall feeling of delight because I now have three new bands discovered and an endless list of songs I need to listen to. Plus, I got a workout in from the infinite dancing.