Oh, the power of positivity in music. It’s undeniable. It’s one of the main reasons why we make music a mainstay in our modern day routines. You can’t deny when you hear your favorite part of your song – the song you hold on to the most. You either dance like nobody is watching or belt out the lyrics at the top of your lungs. We all fight for something one way or another – whether it be for a person, an idea, or a dream. On this particular night, at Irving Plaza in New York, the lead singers of both Set It Off and Tonight Alive, Cody Carson and Jenna McDougall, respectively, echoed those same sentiments to a sold-out crowd of young kids. Each band had to encounter their own sense of struggle to get to where they are today. With those stories, they inspire us all to reach a little higher. I feel that this was the overall mission statement of the Fight For Something tour.
It’s been about two years since the last The Ready Set release, but with I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love due out on April 8, Jordan Witzigreuter played a short, seven-song set that was geared to re-acclimate the crowd. I honestly forgot about 2010’s “Love Like Whoa,” but that was a nice surprise second song into the set. I think, much like myself, fans had to hear that song to reach back in their musical memory logs and really get going. I thought we were going to hear “Trash Talk Love,” but we did get the new single, “Good Enough,” that sounds great with a full live band. The tempo actually reminds me of Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?”
“Don’t come looking for me / I don’t wanna be found / I just wanna be free,” sang lead singer Jenna McDougall before the Tonight Alive collective broke into the lead track from their recently released album, Limitless. In many respects, the set-list represented a good balance of past and present offerings from the Australian pop-punk band. “The Ocean,” a personal song chronicling McDougall’s battle with eczema is the bookend to the new, uplifting offerings of “The Edge”—the song off the Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack—which is very uplifting and defiant. With each album cycle, some bands picture it as a new start. Tonight Alive has a new sense of energy and vigor with Limitless. The NY audience was treated to a very special show, with the bonus of Limitless‘ producer, David Bendeth, being in attendance to see TA play through this new phase.
I’m not going to lie, I did not expect the Set It Off portion to be as wild as it was. By the third song, “The Haunting,” lead singer Cody Carson was crowd surfing through the front part of the audience. It looked like security got caught off guard by this. From seeing this band previously at different festivals, they always drew huge crowds and devotion. I don’t really even know if you can classify them as a pop-punk band. There are definite elements of R&B in there as well – just listen to “Duality.” By the time the last song, “Why Worry,” rang out, Carson was back out into the crowd, where sweat-drenched kids held him up like a trophy to signify a Saturday night well spent.