LIVE REVIEW: The Bryan Stars Tour Ft. Rocky Loves Emily + Late Night Reading – Orlando, FL 11/3/2012

It’s very relieving to shake up your regular cycle of mostly going to (pop) punk/hardcore/metal shows by heading out to a pop rock show. With that mindset, I made my way out to the Orlando, FL stop of The Bryan Stars Tour to see a four-piece lineup that consisted of Catching Your Clouds, Farewell, My Love, with Rocky Loves Emily and Late Nite Reading co-headlining. On this specific day, Late Nite Reading finished the night off after the other three bands had played and given their all in an attempt to win over the show’s attendees.

Before I move on to my rundown of the artists that performed for the night, I want to make it clear that I’m personally not much of a fan of Bryan Stars‘ brand or style of interviews (and that’s putting it lightly), but I really have to hand it to him for his ability to captivate an audience from both in front of a camera and on top of a stage. The man would run up on stage for a mere 5-7 minutes in between, but when he did, the crowd was SOLD onto whatever he had to say or do. It almost seemed as if this attention would outweigh the attention that they gave to the opening acts. Meanwhile, through all of this, during times where he wasn’t actually doing something productive towards how things ran within the show itself, he was doing things for his fan base by taking the time to take pictures, autographs, and anything else in between– and I strongly respect that.

Catching Your Clouds started the show off with a short set. Truthfully, I’ve never heard much of the band’s music altogether. Aside from poorly-mixed venue sound, and what could be perceived as an off-day for the one man band’s vocalist/musician, Drake Christopher, the set was as good as an opener’s set would be expected to be. I would easily recommend CYC to anybody who is a fan of old-school Never Shout Never or even to anybody who would like to hear what a more acoustic-y/pop-y version of what Set it Off could potentially sound like.

For those who have no idea of what Farewell, My Love‘s genre is, and if I had to describe the band using the names of two other bands to compare them to, I would say that Black Veil Brides and Escape the Fate would be the best candidates. Aside from being the heaviest band on the tour, the main thing that stood out from the band’s set was Ryan Howell‘s crazy pipes. The dude really has a high-pitched voice. While I might not know how well he stacks up against the band’s previous vocalist, Caleb Harbin, I would say that he makes for a good potential replacement based off of his performance alone. Towards the end of the band’s set, the group dedicated a song to the late Mitch Lurker of Suicide Silence, which really made the crowd go wild.

I’m really not sure where to start with Rocky Loves Emily. The band played around a 30-minute long set that consisted mostly of the band’s recent Tooth and Nail Records released full-length, Secrets Don’t Make Friends. One of the things that stuck out immediately was that the band sure knows how to make the crowd have fun without making it seem as if the band is “working” in any way. You can legitimately feel the band’s passion that makes up the backbone of their live performance. A perfect example of this would be a part of the show where vocalist Brandon Ellis made everybody that lined along the second floor balcony scream out “yolo” at the top of their lungs before the band would begin their next song. Good times.

Late Nite Reading finished the night off, and boy did they finish it well. By the time the group took the stage, the crowd’s exitement was in full swing. I think it would be safe to say that LNR’s spin off of the genre resembles pop punk more than anything else. The Indiana four-piece played a set that matched the set time of RLE. Musically, the main thing that had stuck out from the band’s set were the two covers that the band played, which were of “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People, and “Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae. Somehow, these songs just sounded natural coming from the pop rock band. The mostly teenaged girl audience went ballistic when LNR announced that the one and only YouTube celebrity, “Deefizzy“, was in attendance, and then later made the boy jump up onstage and give a quick hello to the whole crowd. A couple more songs later, and the show was done and over with.

While I might not personally go too far out of my way to listen to these bands on my own time for a while, it would be a lie to say that I didn’t like any of it. I most certainly had remembered some special moments from the show while I was simultaneously writing this show review and listening to the lineup’s collective discography. The night had sold me over to music that I would’ve completely ignored if it weren’t from the genuine buzz that came from like-minded friends of mine who wouldn’t consider themselves as fans of pop rock music.

This leads me to narrowing down the theme of a lot of the pop rock songs that are being released today: having a good time. Who can say that they didn’t at this show?

Written by: Adrian Garza (Follow on Twitter)

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