Material: This is some high-energy rock music in the spirit of Paramore, and lead singer Brie Marie even sports a hunter orange hair color like Hayley Williams, although she is typically known for her banana candy yellow hair. You might be inclined to assume the band is style over substance, but that is quickly squelched by “Mimes” with its pop-punk intro. “Granted” is a moodier selection that exemplifies clever songwriting; integrating the title as both adverb (“Granted, things weren't always perfect. I swear I would've made it worth it”) and idiom (“Take me for granted/Over and over again”).
Musicianship: The band is strong on its transitions and finales, most especially on “Mimes.” Bonanno stole the show with his double timed finale on “Hoopla” and perfect amount of ride cymbal sizzle on “Granted” where Sutton showcases major talent for double picking. Filling in on bass, Van Bindsbergen had good fingerstyle technique and saved the day for the band’s admittedly last minute decision to cover Blondie’s “Call Me.” Although the group started the song a bit out of sync, Van Bindsbergen successfully pulled the group back together, allowing space for Sutton to contribute a rad original solo that made the cover uniquely his own.
Performance: Being that the group has performed over 12 times for this venue, they are seasoned veterans. Something, however, was amiss at this show. Marie was recovering from a bout of bronchitis and understandably seemed to be holding back on stretching her vocals too hard. Low levels in the monitors didn’t help the situation. Despite this, Sutton and Marie worked the stage well. Although Marie seemed to lose a bit of steam, she remembered to thank her audience and plugged the band.
Summary: A few things would have brought this performance to a more professional level. It appeared that the band didn’t have a proper sound check, which would have eliminated the monitor and mix issues. The band could also work on refining their overall dynamics as an alternative solution. Although the Blondie cover was a fun risk, more rehearsal time or another song selection would have made for a more polished set. Overall this group exhibits great dedication, trekking all the way down from Bakersfield, CA, for this short half-hour set. With an average age of 17 years old, these players have a lot of potential for growth.