Players: Mike Squillante, lead vocals, guitar; Nick Squillante, keyboards, backing vocals; Stephen Ranellone, drums
Material: With New York City venues beginning to host livestreaming shows, performers can get out of their living rooms and showcase themselves in a more conducive setting. Complete with decent lighting and audio, alternative rockers, Running Lights, the powerhouse trio founded by the Squillante brothers, performed a full 45-minute set.
The brothers began their music career cutting their teeth on numerous covers that were well received on YouTube before deciding to forge ahead with their own material. After adding Warped Tour veteran Stephen Ranellone on drums, they were off and running (no pun intended).
The bulk of songs in the set dealt with various relationship themes, from the best side of love, to the rockier side. Riding a positive wave, the toe tapping, infectious “One And A Million,” employs the use of simile to promote their case: On a night like this you can feel the heat / From a sunset left on a summer street / It’s a perfect moment for just us two / But I swear it’s one in a million / Take you anywhere that you want to go / If you hold my hand when the lights get low / It’s me and you and that makes two / But I swear we’re one in a million.”
In “Not In Love,” we see the less fulfilling side of a relationship: We could be together / But we don’t want to try forever / And when you leave tomorrow I know I won’t follow and we’ll pretend we’re not in love.” They also covered “Mr. Brightside,” a Killers song, but with a less edgy treatment.
Musicians: Mike Squillante has all the requisite angst in his vocals to drive home his messages, along with a sizable vocal range and spot-on pitch. Nick Squillante on keyboards ably jockeys live playing with some pre-recorded tracks, while drummer Ranellone has some fierce moves and skillfully establishes each groove.
Performance: Streaming performances reside in a kind of black hole as the audience is not physically in the room. While the band intermittingly addressed the “virtual” crowd, at times they resorted to chatting among themselves along with a couple of shoutouts to fans/friends the audience wasn’t privy to. Instead, the performers should imagine that the audience is in the room and speak directly to them. Additionally, cutting one or two songs would go a long way to holding viewers’ often brief online attention span.
Summary: No doubt this is an outfit that can craft a song and effectively put it across. Considering the differences between true live and online performance will go a long way. You can hear their new single at smarturl.it/RL_OIAM.