Keep It Cute, The Ready Set, House Of Blues – Sunset Strip, July 30, 2013
The Summerfest Tour made its way into the Southland, with a stop at the House Of Blues on the world famous Sunset Strip. The lineup consisted of We The Kings, Breathe Carolina, T Mills, and The Ready Set, as well as a star making turn from a collective named Keep It Cute. Kicking off an event like this could be a formidable task, but this San Antonio, Texas based band was more than up for the challenge. The House Of Blues was already packed to the rafters when Keep It Cute made their way onstage the stage at 6:30PM, presenting a highly memorable set of wondrously infectious pop rock tunes to the early arrivals.
Opening with the exhilarating Wild & Free, the “we gotta run, run, run” refrain quickly sent the audience into a spin – with many paying rather close attention to the exciting tunes that would follow. Up next was the catchy Not Like Me, whose driving chorus and spiraling melody made you want to get up and hit the dance floor. This City was an exuberant highlight that could easily find its way onto the radio airwaves. In the covers department, Keep It Cute performed a wistful acoustic rendition of the Hunter Hayes song Wanted, placing their own indelible stamp on the song. The pulsating After The Lights Go Out continued on with the sweet trek of terrific pop rock goodness. Keep It Cute would then close out their set with the glorious Celebrate – a triumph of a tune that could easily be the soundtrack of this or any summer.
Vocalist Ryan Alexander is a wonderfully charismatic performer, whose expressive voice and vibrant stage presence really makes you stand up and take notice. Also of note was the lead guitar work of Matt Zaval, whose exuberance and playing was a good deal of fun to watch. AJ Garces fills everything in nicely on guitar, and together with Matt, they create a pop rockin’ wall of sound. Keeping the beat with an admirable amount of skill and precision were Kevin Diaz de Leon on drums and Aldo Lazcano on bass. While this was their first time playing in the Hollywood, judging by what was witnessed at the House Of Blues, we are sure to see this talented band again in future days. Be sure to check out their duo of EP’s – Summer Love and New Beginnings – both wonderful DIY efforts well worth seeking out!
Up next on the bill was The Ready Set, the pop / electronica project of Jordan Witzigreuter that has been gaining a good deal of recognition over the last few years. High profile appearances on the Vans Warped Tour as well as incessant touring has really gained the talented Witzigreuter and his band quite a following, and they arrived in great numbers at the House Of Blues to see an earlier than usual performance. Already a headliner in their own right, The Ready Set made a terrific addition to the already impressive Summerfest lineup.
Opening with the anthem-like reverberations of Young Forever, The Ready Set performed the heavy duty dance cut in a wide eyed conviction, easily reeling in the audience for the jubilant tunes to follow. More Than Alive remains one of the most brilliant tunes within The Ready Set’s impressive repertoire, with lyrics that make you want to take on the world. A new song called Freaking Me Out was introduced, a step in a terrifically melodic direction that shows off Witzigreuter’s spirited vocals in a whole new light. Closing the set out with a glorious one-two punch of Love Like Woe and Best Song Ever, hands were waving frenetically in the air and the mood within the House Of Blues was absolutely electric. It is clear that Jordan Witzigreuter has grown tremendously as a songwriter and performer since his days of inhabiting the Tantrum Castle, and it will be exciting to hear the sonic treats he has in store for fans on the next Ready Set magnum opus.
With further sets by T. Mills, Breathe Carolina and We The Kings, the Summerfest Tour proved to be another grand and memorable night at the House Of Blues on the Sunset Strip. Be sure to stay in tuned with the up and coming sensation known as Keep It Cute – these guys definitely keep it fun and exciting within a live setting and are not to be missed.
(Review by Kenneth Morton – Photos by Adam Gendler)