Material: Connecticut-based rock quintet Chaser Eight reflects influences such as Pink Floyd, The Killers and Alanis Morissette (to name a few) featuring longer musical intros, often darker themes and plenty of angst. Frontwoman and consummate rock diva *AUDRA*’s songwriting deals mainly with relationship turmoil and the search for love and sexual fulfillment. “I Wanna Die” (probably their strongest song in the set) explores the ennui of life, risking it all for one night of passion: “I wanna die, I wanna die, but I wanna live tonight.” In “Lead Me Down,” the fulfillment theme is echoed again but comes with a warning: “first I’m gonna get you high, never leave you alone, I’m going to set a fire in your soul just don’t lead me down, lead me down.”
Musicianship: *AUDRA*’s voice has a touch of sweetness in it, but enough requisite strength to wail on the essential notes to create a nice contrast against the hard driving guitars and drums. There are some standout lead guitar lines from Walsh, especially in “I Wanna Die,” which burst forth from a dynamic percussive intro delivered
by the rhythm section. The main glue of this outfit, besides some tasty playing, is their long-standing relationship dating back to childhood.
Performance: Chaser Eight kicked off their set with 40 seconds of a Pink Floyd mp3 “In the Flesh” (a call to the stage), which then segued into their first song, establishing a musical point of reference. It was a nice touch, but only meaningful if you were familiar with Pink Floyd’s repertoire. They went on to perform a consistent and balanced show except for one unfortunate snag that was entirely out of their control: At the last minute the promoter changed the venue and start time, which sorely affected the turnout. The band nevertheless played the gig with a level of energy and professionalism as if there were a full house.
Summary: There’s no doubt Chaser Eight are a hard-working and committed band who project a camaraderie and sincerity that comes through, even under compromised circumstances.
They are at ease on stage as a unit and have cohesive and interesting arrangements. They could benefit from a couple of additional standout songs, not necessarily with pop-like hooks but centered around a big lyrical statement or a musical motif.
The Players: *AUDRA*, vocals, guitar; Pat Walsh, lead guitar; Billy Wang, bass; Pete Giannini, drums; Aaron Tagliamonte, guitar, keyboards.
Venue: Best Bar
City: New York, NY