FRESHMAN 15, The Key Club, December 3, 2010
Freshman 15 was in town for a show at the Key Club on the Sunset Strip, competing for a spot on the Ernie Ball Stage at Warped Tour 2011. With a show that also featured Warped alumni Lovehatehero, Eyes Set To Kill as well as Craig Owens new band D.R.U.G.S., the lineup was pretty strong and the crowd pretty packed in for a full night of music. Many in the audience were familiar with the other competing bands, and judging by those singing along, Freshman 15 certainly had a good amount of fans at the show cheering them on.
While the band only appears to have one original member left from their 2002 inception, this lineup was particular spirited, delivering a good time fir all in attendance. Freshman 15 is absolutely capable of bringing the pop punk aesthetics of Blink 182 and New Found Glory to a whole new generation of listeners. The onstage banter was humorous, and the songs performed were definitely vibrant and super infectious.
Opening with a short yet sweet version of the Queen classic Fat Bottomed Girls, the guys burst into the signature Are You Ready For This from their full length Throw Your Hands Up For One Night Stands! debut. Next up was Our California Song, a terrific anthem that they were able to perform right in the heart of the Hollywood!
One of the highlights of the show was their rambunctuous cover of the MIA song Paper Planes, that really had many in the audience jumping around and singing along.
Phoenix Can Keep You, their should be hit single, was performed – a tune that lead vocalist Davey Fornter readily admitted was about an ex-girlfriend. Thought Of You concluded their short but solid set, really demonstrating just how talented the Freshman 15 collective is, featuring a terrific three part harmony at the very end of the song.
Vocalist/guitarist (as well as founding member) Davey Fortner is a lively presence onstage and a formidable songwriter as well – definitely a classic melodic punk front man with talent and charisma to spare. Joining Fortney for the rock and roll mischief were Davey Hoogerwerf on bass and vocals, Rob Felicetti on guitar and vocals, and Dave Tantao on drums. If any band was ready to tour Warped for an entire summer, it would be Freshman 15. With a strong sense of perseverance and a great knack for keeping the crowd fully entertained, these lads from Georgia are ready to break it out into the big time.
(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)
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