The POWER 2 The Pop PUNK x 4
Concert Review: As It Is, ROAM, Grayscale, Sleep On It
Contributing writer/photographer: Song River
Weeknight gig events can either be packed and stacked or light and flight with any genre of music. There are so many factors that can play in fan attendance and pack them in always ups the ticket sales but it doesn't always necessarily mean a great chemistry mixture between the bands and audience will occur.
Live music events need the right lab to mix and Pub Rock has shown itself to be a venue that is set up to be a great place for Pop Punk to mix it up with their fans. On May 18th in Phoenix, Arizona the bands As It Is, ROAM, Grayscale, and Sleep On It brought out the truest of the true blue fans of theirs and the sensation from beginning to end were solid.
As It Is had a meet and greet prior to the evening's sets and probably had a good 20-25 fans join in. Bringing their pop status to the Valley as they have now wrapped up their tour, this Minneapolis band, delivered a great acoustic set along with a Q&A for their meet and greet. There were some really great questions and interaction between the band members and their audience. The questions ranged from the serious of asking what vocal song camp Patty attended to a fun question addressed to the entire band as to what Pokemon character would they say they are.
The meet and greet lasted about a half and hour and the night of power pop and punk pop was ready, set go!
Opening up the evening to about 200 people was the Chicago boys, Sleep On It. With a deep pocket of four EP's to draw from this alternative pop rock band with overtures of pop punk elements gave a supercharged performance during their whole set. The band line up (Zech Pluister- Lead vocals, TJ Horansky - Guitar/Vocals, Jake Marquis -Guitar/Vocals, AJ Khah - Bass, Luka Fischman - Drums) have all the right sides to be heard over and over again. Zech's lead vocals are distinctly his own as TJ and Jake create that full well-rounded sound to support Zeck it is an organic front that has you dancing to the rhythm and beat being kept by AJ and Luka. These guys put on a great show.
This night was just getting started. Very quickly the stage set changed and Grayscale to their presence up to the heights of pop punk. Hailing from the town of brotherly love, Philadelphia, Pa, Grayscale showed just how much they love and appreciate their fans. This band of Philly boys kept that personal jive shaking the whole night. Even earlier while setting up they chatted with fans, shook numerous hands, hugged, smiled, laughed and shared the passion they have for their music. Rocking this set-out and cutting across the stage many of their newest hits from their latest album Adornment the band, Andrew Kyne - Guitar, Collin Walsh - Vocals, Dallas Molster - Guitar/Vocals, Nick Veno - Drums, and Nick Ventimiglia - Bass brought everyone up and literally over to them. This would only be the beginning of the crowd surfing and stage jumping for the evening. As they played their most notable track "Atlantic" you could hear loud voices come through the audience of "WE love you Grayscale!" No doubt their fans did as they did not want them to finish their set.
ROAM took the stage soon after Grayscale and these UK boys were totally lit from the word GO! Lead vocalist Alex Costello knows how to command a crowd and the crowd knows how to respond. The room went into high gear as the band mates of ROAM, Alex Adam - Vocals/Guitar, Sam Veness - Guitar, Matt Roskilly - Bass, and Miles Gill - Drums worked their fans into a circle mosh pit and crowd surfing and stage diving. Bodies were in full motion to their music. These guys from Eastbourne know how to create a room of rock. Performing many of their tracks from the latest album, Backbone, the room confirmed ROAM knows their punk and is as intensely into making that connection with their music, fans, and performance as ever.
Finishing this perfect night off of burning off major energy, rock and flow were As It Is. The lit rock this band brings up is superlatively stellar. Patty has a definite charm to him and a way of connecting to both males and females. The banter between the bandmates, Andy Westhead - Guitar, Benjamin Langford-Biss- Guitar/Vocals, Patrick Foley - Drums, Patty Walters - Vocals, Ali Testo - Bass shows a genuine friendship between all. They all have stories to tell, they all love their fans, and have a sincerity and honesty about them that made this tour of bands one of the best so far this year.
With the release of their latest album, okay, earlier this year As It Is takes Pop Rock and makes it feel deeper and honestly genuine. Every time I have seen them live... they just get better and better.
This may not have been a huge arena style concert jam but that isn't what the fans came for. They came to connect, have fun, and get to know their favorite bands on a more intimate level and that is exactly what was done.