The 8123 Tour with The Maine, A Rocket To The Moon, This Century, Brighten, House Of Blues – Anaheim, June 7, 2013
It was the first night of The 8123 Tour, and the Downtown Disney location of the House Of Blues was literally packed to the rafters, all in anticipation of a night of supremely wonderful music. The Maine was headliner of the event, on tour in support of their just self-released Forever Halloween magnum opus. Also on the bill were A Rocket To The Moon, This Century, and Brighten – all ready to make a night in Anaheim a memorable and glorious occasion.
Due to the adventures and intrigue involved when driving the freeway within a California Rush Hour, we completely missed Brighten’s set! Hopefully the pop rocking band from Chico, CA will be back around soon, because judging what was overheard from various audience members, it was a solid commencement from a band well on their way into the big time. Their latest full length effort is entitled Peace and Quiet, available on ITunes.
When Highwire Daze arrived at the venue, This Century was already on the stage, thrilling the well over capacity crowd with their intoxicating brand of pop rock. This Phoenix, Arizona–based band definitely brought the heat into the House Of Blues, performing songs from the just released album entitled Biography Of Heartbreak. Highlights performed within their set included To Love And Back, Bleach Blonde, and the captivating should-be hit single Slow Dance Night. This Century has been hard at work getting the word out on their band, including spending a long hot summer following the Warped Tour a few years ago. Judging by the reaction from the packed house, their perseverance is paying off big time! The charismatic This Century lineup consists of Joel Kanitz on vocals, Sean Silverman on guitar, Alex Silverman on bass, and Ryan Gose on drums. There is little doubt This Century will be headlining their own tours and soon! If you are into heartfelt pop that will make you want to dance and sway, then This Century is NOT to be missed.
A Rocket To The Moon
Up next was A Rocket To The Moon from Braintree, Massachusetts, on what is unfortunately their final tour before an official breakup. The band surely did not perform like a collective on the verge of ending a brilliant career, and their 11 song set was way too short but definitely sweet and filled with passion and vigor. Opening with the rollicking Call It All Home with its “There’s a town in California” chorus that had everyone happily singing alone. Front man Nick Santino has developed into a remarkable singer and songwriter, presenting songs that are warm, rocking, and instantly memorable. Baby Blue Eyes was a tender ballad that packed an emotional punch while Dakota continued the journey into sonic bliss. The set concluding with the superb Mr. Right, another song that should have been all over the radio airwaves. This could have easily been a headlining tour for A Rocket To The Moon, and serves as a triumphant conclusion to a band that will be sorely missed in the Southland and beyond. Here is wishing Nick Santino and his band mates the best in future days – along with a hope that we’ll see them all on the road again in new and interesting projects.
And now it was time for The Maine to take over the stage, and this Tempe, Arizona based band definitely knows how to put on an exciting show! Whether they are rocking it hard and heavy or presenting a middle of the road masterpiece, there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy within The Maine’s exhilarating set. Mickey Mouse may not have enjoyed the sometimes salty language coming from the stage, but all was easily forgiven by not only the terrific songs but an inspiring talk front man John O’Callaghan delivered about the value of individuality towards the end of their set. Back to the beginning, where The Maine enraptured the audience with a dynamic one-two jolt of Love And Drugs and Misery. Inside Of You then followed – a number that really had the crowd singing along. There were 17 songs in all, including an imaginative cover of Cyndi Lauper’s Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun, with The Maine leaving their own indelible stamp on the classic tune. The finale was nothing short of legendary, with all members of the opening acts joining The Maine onstage for a rousing rendition of We’ll All Be from their first studio album Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop. What a tremendous performance – certainly a glorious launch for what is destined to be a successful cross country tour! The timeless songs clearly show a band headed into a long and prosperous career. Be sure to check out The Maine’s brand new album Forever Halloween, now available on ITunes, Best Buy, as well as their highly energetic concerts! The Maine lineup consists of John O’Callaghan on vocals, Garrett Nickelsen on bass, Pat Kirch on drums, Kennedy Brock on guitar and vocals, and Jared Monaco on guitar.
(Review by Kenneth Morton – Photos by Adam Gendler)