The Come Alive Tour, featuring Set It Off and Our Last Night, kicked off in Jacksonville, Florida on Friday, July 11th. I had every intention of going to only that show, but after the astounding performances and the kind meetings I had that night, I couldn’t resist going to another. It isn’t the most rare occurrence for me to attend more than one show in a tour schedule, but it is rare to find a line-up that sticks with me, and this line-up did just that. I felt the need to re-experience all that I felt that first evening.
Most would think that from day one of a tour to day three, not many improvements would be made, but that is completely inaccurate. You would be shocked by how much bands can improve their sets over the course of a few days.
Tallahassee natives, Stages And Stereos, are the openers on this tour. I have reviewed this band more than any other, and they have proven themselves to worthy of so much attention. I have been following these five guys for over a year and a half, an in that time, their growth as a band has been off the charts. Whenever I watch them perform, I think back to a conversation I had with guitarist Zach Schweizer in early 2013. He had described to me the direction in which Stages And Stereos was heading. But instead of giving a long, drawn-out explanation, he only used one word: growth. The promise that he made over a year ago is still holding true today. Stages And Stereos mainly performed tracks off their most recent release, Small Town Favorites, but they also treated the crowds to a brand new song titled “Higher.” The song is more pop than fans will be used to, but it’s fun and brings us all one step closer to more new music from these guys. Schweizer gave me a little insight to what the new songs will sound like at the Orlando show on Sunday, July 13th. He described it as, “Cindy Lauper/Whitney Houston 80’s pop.”
You can purchase a CD from Stages And Stereos here.
Heartist, the second band to perform both nights, is a group of guys from California that I had never heard of. I wish I had a million nice things to say about Heartist, but there were just multiple aspects that turned me off from this band. Lead vocalist, Bryce Beckley had this overly confident arrogance about him that, in my opinion, made him a little hard to tolerate. He would make “jokes” between songs, but his humor was a bit on the dark side, so it was hard to find them funny. But on the flip side, Beckley had the talent to back up his arrogance. His screaming was powerful and engaging. He even brought a fan on stage in Orlando to sing a verse of one of their songs. But for me to completely enjoy a live performance, the bands need to be talented and personable, and I just didn’t get that impression from his band, or at least their lead vocalist.
You can purchase a CD from Heartist here.
Unfortunately, I did not get a good feel for what Our Last Night had to offer the opening night of the tour. They were having technical difficulties (not uncommon on the first night) and were only able to perform four songs. Luckily, at the Orlando show, they were able to do their full set list, and I was blown away. They definitely lived up to the old phrase “never judge a book by its cover.” They are clean cut guys, but deliver a performance that any rock lover would be proud of. The most impressive part of their set list was their cover of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse.” I always love rock interpretations of pop songs. It may just be better than the original. Check out for yourself at the end.
You can purchase a CD from Our Last Night here.
The band that I was most excited to see was Tampa, Florida natives, Set It Off. I have been listening to lead singer, Cody Carson, for quite some time thanks to his amazing covers on YouTube, but I hadn’t thought of giving his band a chance. Once I found out about this tour, I knew there was no greater time to start learning what else this talented vocalist had to offer. I was captivated from the second I began listening to their full-length, Cinematics. The tracks are full of theatrics, and their live performances are no different. You definitely get a show when you see Set It Off. There is everything from crowd walking, trust falls, and phone stealing. You can tell that this is exactly what Carson loves doing. His smile is contagious, and you can’t help but have a good time watching him and four of his best friends perform. One of my favorite moments was in Jacksonville when Carson sang the song he wrote for his dad, who passed six years ago, called “Dad’s Song.” There is so much passion in that song, and you get a feel for how close his was to his father without ever witnessing it. The other four came on stage during the performance to play, but had their backs turned towards to crowd, giving Carson the opportunity to have a moment. It was truly beautiful. You can check out this performance at the end. I could tell how appreciative these guys are of the fans they have because every time the crowd would shout their lyrics back to them, joy filled each and every one of them.
You can purchase a CD from Set It Off here.
The Come Alive Tour runs through August, so be sure to check out a date when they come near you. You can buy concert tickets here.
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