Valencia @ Harper’s Ferry (3/18/2009) [Review]

Valencia

Almost a month ago I saw You, Me, And Everyone We Know, Houston Calls, and Valencia play a show at Harper’s Ferry in Boston. Truthfully, I simply forgot to write a review of the show until I recently stumbled upon the set lists and notes I made the day after the show. Some people like to say “better late than never;” even though I don’t really care for the saying, I present to you my thoughts on the evening.

Local band Us Against The Archers opened the show. I was a bit late and only caught the end of their set. They weren’t bad, but there was nothing truly memorable in the two or three songs I heard. You, Me, And Everyone We Know took the stage next and proved to be a huge disappointment. Their two EPs are both among my favorites of 2006 and 2008, respectively. However, on this night their live show couldn’t even come close to their recorded material. Vocalist Ben Liebsch came on stage drunk (he sobered up a bit during the set) and mangled the first song “I Can Get Back Up Now.” He’s got to learn to consistently sing into the mic, not just the general direction of the it. The rest of the band managed to do what they were suppose to, but I might hesitate before giving this band another chance.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Houston Calls, so I was pleasantly surprised by their performance. I loved A Collection of Short Stories and was ecstatic that they played the more well-known songs from the album, but The End of an Error hasn’t quite clicked with me yet. Their set list switched between songs from the two albums – essentially a greatest hits collection. The crowd was relatively quiet throughout the set, despite the efforts of their keyboardist. It wasn’t until “Sunrise, Goodbyes” that things started to pick up. From that point on, Houston Calls was able to keep the energy up. They had the crowd dancing, singing and well, they did exactly what they were suppose to: get the crowd excited for Valencia.

Valencia is one of the few pop-punk bands I consider to be doing any justice to the genre (the tour was even appropriately named “Say No To Neon Tour”), so I was expecting a great performance. Thankfully, they delivered. From the opening chords of “Holiday” til the very end of “Head In Hands,” Valencia had the crowd singing along. They carried so much energy through every song, the crowd couldn’t help but thrive off the band. Although they played a fairly predictable set, they made up for it by playing so perfectly. To see frontman Shane Henderson up on stage, despite his mother’s illness, was the highlight of the night. This band is doing great things for the scene, it’s a shame they aren’t more popular than they are.

To see the set lists, go here.

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