Last month I spent a night out on the town in New York City at Highline Ballroom to see a couple of my favorite bands: The Summer Set and The Downtown Fiction.
I had first discovered The Downtown Fiction earlier this year when they opened for Allstar Weekend and The Ready Set on the Glamour Kills tour. I quickly became hooked, so I made sure to catch them at Bamboozle earlier this May.
Likewise, ever since hanging out with The Summer Set at Six Flags Great Adventure on the Friday Is Forever Tour with We The Kings (and The Downtown Fiction), I couldn't get their songs out of my head. So naturally when they announced a headlining tour with TDF, I plugged it in to my calendar and started counting down the days.
My Girl Friday, good friends of The Summer Set, and fronted by Justin Godsey opened up the show on October 20 to a room filled with excited audience members. To my surprise, the attendees weren't just standing around waiting for The Summer Set to take the stage but also seemed to genuinely enjoy each and every opener. My Girl Friday set the rocking vibe for the night (with Brian of the Summer Set joining them for "Fall") while Allison Park, who came up next, focused on showcasing her pipes during a fun pop set. Oh Darling's Plug In Stereo took the stage next, slowing it down with a more acoustic and indie vibe. Trevor Dahl, the sole member of the one man band, had practically every girl swooning with his smooth vocals and charming stage presence (not to mention his hair, which is amazing).
Though most of the concert goers had been standing already for three sets and everything in between, the audience lacked no energy when The Downtown Fiction took the stage, opening with their sing-along anthem, "Thanks For Nothing." Lead singer Cameron Leahy, bassist David Pavluk, and guitarist Wes Dimond took the stage (drummer Eric Jones recently left the band) and had the crowd jumping up and down to a mixture of tracks from their The Double E.P. as well as their latest album Let's Be Animals. I've seen a lot of shows in the past but let me tell you, the energy that these guys have on stage is one that can't be beat. It's refreshing seeing a band that you can tell are truly and genuinely enjoying what they do and aren't just going through the motions. From hearing my favorite song of theirs "A Wonderful Surprise" to the last song on their set for the night, "I Just Wanna Run", I was left completely content with their performance -- if not just a bit disappointed that it was over.
After a fifteen minute set change and a brief introduction from their good friend and radio show host Gunz (The Gunz Show), lead singer Brian Dales took center stage to deafening cheers and applause from all those at the Highline (at this point of the night, the place had filled up considerably). Their set consisted of a mixture of songs off their first pop punk driven album Love Like This and their latest pop rock Everything's Fine. Allison Park joined them to sing a melodic version of "About A Girl" and they brought Cameron, Justin, and Allison back on stage to perform a cover of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" as a finale before their encore numbers "Someone Like You" and "Young". Between the band's comedic banter (guitarist John Gomez and bassist/brother Stephen Gomez took turns wearing a gold plastic crown all night), their catchy songs including "Chelsea" and "The Boys You Do (Get Back At You)", and undeniable stage presence, I didn't see one person that night leaving the Highline looking disappointed.
Nicole - J-14 Photo Assistant
Click "Read More" to check out photos & watch a video of The Summer Set's "Chelsea" and "Free Fallin'."
Watch The Summer Set perform "Chelsea" and "Free Fallin'":
Photos: Courtesy of Nicole Mazza/J14