Material: Beta Play is a rock/pop/alt band whose ‘80s influence is clear. The band’s latest single “The Way We Play” exposes their funky synths and lead singer Tommy Cantillon’s unique vocals. The song is a perfect example of the band’s ability to include the right amount of instrumentation to complement the harmonies without overpowering them. Each individual instrument and vocal is simple, but when placed together they form a cohesive sound conducive to dancing. “Heaven Is Under The Sun” is another fan favorite that uses the same musical distinction, but also shows Cantillon’s talent for singing lyrics percussively, adding further to the upbeat composition. “Electric 22” shows a darker side of Beta Play. The synth takes on an eerie tint while the vocals and instrumentation switch from childlike to a heavier poignancy.
Musicianship: Cantillon’s vocals have a grandiose musical quality paired perfectly with the spirit of a rock icon. The band comes across as comfortable and familiar with each other, which amplifies the fullness of their sound. The synthesizers, drum beats and bass weave together multiple genres that on their own are mocked for being overdone. However, the technical nuance and tastefulness of the band create a perfectly sized sound seemingly influenced by classic rock, glam rock and contemporary indie.
Performance: Frontman Cantillon sauntered onstage, a mashup of Gerard Way and Nicholas Petricca with Marcus Mumford fashion. A mechanical but driving drum and bass echoed behind him as he stood at the edge of the stage to pump up the crowd. The venue was dark but the band’s almost palpable electricity drew all eyes to the front. A gospel-like cymbal beat reverberated around the pitch black corners backed by a sparse piano and dark synthesizer.
Cantillon’s vocals hit a Broadway-esque flair while the composition wouldn’t be amiss at an Alice Cooper-gone-indie concert. Despite just being the opener, Beta Play was able to turn the crowd on as people began to dance carefree.
Summary: Beta Play's danceable, upbeat, radio-friendly sound is an homage to the dramatic flair of early 2000’s music, with a nod to the ‘80s. The band’s experiences performing live are evident in their onstage precision. Their technical ability, spiced with just enough spontaneity, ignites the band’s live performances.
The Players: Tommy Cantillon, lead vocals, guitar; Michael Cantillon, keys, backup vocals; Josh Daubin, drums; Mike Dyer, bass.
Photo by Malorie McCall
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