Archive for the ‘ Reviews ’ Category

Mike Mains & the Branches – The Emerson Indianapolis

Last night, I was able to see Mike Mains & the Branches play live at The Emerson here in Indianapolis. I was filled with excitement because they’re one of the bands I’ve been listening to on repeat for the past few months. Their current album, Home, is comprised of so many great songs, it’s hard to believe anyone not being a fan of theirs.

As I walked into The Emerson, I was surprised to see that there weren’t many people there. It might have been because people tend to come to shows later to see the main act, which you may assume was Mike Mains & the Branches, however, to my surprise they were not.

When Mike Mains & the Branches got on stage to start playing their set, my friend Wesley and I made our way to the front. Typically, this is what you would do when a band is beginning to play. In my years of concert going, I’ve learned that even if you’re not too fond of the bands music, you should give them a little support by surrounding the stage. I can’t assume that everyone that was at the show last night was not a fan of theirs, but I can say that there was definitely a lack of support for the band. Song after song, I was completely enthralled with their performance. They gave everything they had to the crowd, or lack there of. You would have thought they were performing for a sold out crowd. My friend that was with me didn’t have much knowledge of their music beforehand, but as soon as we left the show he told me that their performance was phenomenal, and I would have to agree with him.

I was frustrated last night to see such a lack of support from the people in the building. When a band is on stage, giving everything they have to you, the music lover, you should give them something back, which in this case would be your attention. I had the opportunity of talking with Mike Mains and the rest of the band and I apologized to them about the response they were given while playing. Completely humble, they didn’t seem to mind. They’re doing what they love to do and performing for two people or a room full of people, they are still fulfilling their dream.

I’d love to see them play again. I’m hoping the next time they are in Indianapolis they are able to play at a different venue and maybe the show can be promoted better.

Until then, I’ll continue to listen to their record on repeat.

If you would like to know more about Mike Mains & the Branches and hear a song by them, click here.


They’ve Shot Flanigan – Locals Only Indianapolis

There are many bands that can play a live show without any flaws in their set. They can win over an audience within five minutes of performing. Not all bands can perform their set and leave many speechless. I was among the crowd of many at last night’s “Hipster Comedy Hour” and was left in awe of their talent. When you can watch a band do what they truly love, that is a gift that you don’t see everyday. Members Zach Stonerock (vocals), Gabe Stonerock (guitar/vocals), Mason Simmons (drums), and Brad Johnson (bass) may not be well-known just yet, but their hard work and dedication to their skill shows that they aren’t going to give up without a fight. If there is ever a band that deserves your attention, it’s They’ve Shot Flanigan.

*Photo by Joanne McIntyre

To learn more about They’ve Shot Flanigan and hear a song by them, click here.

The Fireship – Elbo Room Chicago

Saturday night, I went to the Elbo Room in Chicago to check out The Fireship. As they took the stage, all dressed as Yanni for Halloween, I couldn’t wait to hear their first song. They began the show hard hitting and full of energy. Each member visibly excited to be playing for such a packed audience. Each song was catchy and the audience all seemed to love what they were hearing. I looked around only to find that so many people were singing along with Nicholas Paul, the lead singer of the band. How come I have not heard of this band before? Everything about their live show was pretty spectacular. Being a smaller venue, my only complaint about the show was that the sound wasn’t the best and at some points, it was hard to hear the singing.

Overall, the band played their hearts out for crowd of many. They ended their set with their single, “Ferdinandea” which is extremely catchy and a perfect song to end on. The Fireship is on the rise and being able to see them at a small venue right now is a treat. Soon enough their ticket will be the hottest ticket in town.

Look for an interview with Nicholas Paul to be posted soon!

To learn more about The Fireship and hear a song by them, click here.

Andrew Belle – Radio Radio Indianapolis

I was very excited to have the opportunity to see Andrew Belle live. Listening to his CD continuously over the last month only made me want to see him play more. I walked into Radio Radio and was pleasantly surprised at how great of a turn out it was. Being a Tuesday night, sometimes shows don’t get the appreciation they deserve. My friend Angie and I found seats, grabbed a drink, and waited for Andrew to began playing.  Andrew began and immediately put a smile on my face. My ears heard the familiar tunes and my feet started tapping along with the beat. Between songs, Andrew would chit-chat with the audience telling them a bit about himself and making a few jokes here and there.

As he ended his set, one of the last songs he played was “The Ladder” which is the title track off of his current record, and my favorite. Seeing Andrew Belle live only made me appreciate him as an artist even more.

After his set ended, I got the chance to talk with him for a few minutes. As talented as he is, he is also genuine and appreciative of his fans. My only complaint about this show is that because he was not the headliner, his set did not last very long. I would have loved to watch him play for much longer.

If you have not had the chance to see Andrew Belle live in concert, I highly recommend you do so because hearing a recorded voice is just never as good as hearing it in person.

To read more about Andrew Belle and to hear one of his songs, click here.

Jimmy Eat World – Invented

I was nervous to listen to Jimmy Eat World’s newest record because I had really high expectations that it was going to be great. I didn’t want to be let down and dislike a record from one of my favorite bands. As I pushed play on the first track, “Heart Is Hard To Find”, and heard the first few notes out of Jim Adkins mouth, my heart sank. I didn’t think it sounded like their original sound at all. As I kept listening I realized that I was wrong. A huge smile came across my face and I started tapping along to the beat of the song. This is the Jimmy Eat World that I’m used to. The band that I have loved for years now. The lyrics, vocals, and melodies were exactly on point throughout the entire record. It’s rare when you buy a CD and you don’t skip any songs. Since getting the record yesterday, I’ve listened to it on repeat at least five times. One of my favorite tracks is, “Higher Devotion”. The song is catchy, upbeat, and the lyrics are well-written (which isn’t surprising when it comes to this band.)

I wasn’t a big fan of the album, “Chase This Light”. I didn’t feel as if it did the band any justice. There were a few good songs, but overall it just wasn’t anything I wanted to continue listening to. When I heard they were releasing a new CD, I was excited, but cautious, hoping that it wouldn’t sound anything like their last CD and I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. I feel like Jimmy Eat World went back to their roots with this one. ‘Invented’ is a masterpiece and I guarantee that my IPod won’t be the only one playing it on repeat for the next few weeks.

Scratch Track – Birdy’s Indianapolis

Last night, Scratch Track took the stage in Indianapolis, IN. As I sat on my stool, listening to them jam out, I thought to myself, “Why on earth are there not more people here to see them?” A few reasons came to mind. It was a Monday night plus the Colts played the previous night, so everyone was partied out. Personally, those reasons are not good enough. D.J. Lee, Jason Hamlin, and Danny Mark played their hearts out to a select few and lit up the entire venue. Not only was their sound on point, but they were not detoured by the lack of people in the room. I felt like the few who were there to support them were given a great performance. One that would have been given had the venue been filled. Any band that can get up on stage, play their heart out, and be happy that they had the chance to have their music heard is what keeps me happily spending money on music and shows. Scratch Track is one of those bands. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see these guys live they tour like crazy. Check out their touring schedule to see if they play your area soon.

Here are a few pictures from the show last night courtesy of photographer, Mike Wilson of Hypephotography.

To read more about Scratch Track and here one of their songs, click here.

Jesse Thomas – Hazel EP

The first time I heard Jesse Thomas, I was searching on iTunes for new music to listen to. I was floored when I heard the voice that came out of this girl. As she’s singing these deep lyrics, she sings with such passion and emotion in her voice.

There are five songs featured on her EP and it definitely makes you yearn for more from her. The songs are ones that make you want to sing along, perfect for a morning drive to work or relaxing in bed with coffee in hand.

My favorite tune from this album would be “Blank Page.” It’s a song about heartbreak, loneliness, and moving on. “For now I’ll sit around this empty house and find things that remind me of you.”

If you haven’t checked out Jesse Thomas’ music, do so as soon as possible. This girl is bound to blow up any second. Soon we will see her on late night television, performing her hit songs in front of the whole world.

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