Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Live review: Safetysuit, Ovens Auditorium, 4/9/2012

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Daughtry w/ Safetysuit
Ovens Auditorium
April 9, 2012

When SafetySuit began its eight-song opening set for Daughtry on April 9, 2012, it was clear from the opening notes that the majority of the Ovens Auditorium crowd had no clue who the band was.


Most in attendance stared quizzically at the stage as the band members walked out and began rocking a song from their new album, These Times. Safetysuit's brand of pop-rock combines strong-and-steady guitar melodies with tear-jerking vocals, producing an almost ethereal sound while still being catchy enough for radio.

By the time the band launched into the next song - fan-favorite "Something I Said" - they managed to stir up some activity in the crowd, as if they were the main event.

Frontman Doug Brown thrashed around so much there was fear he'd throw his back out. Brown would find a way to wring every last ounce of emotion out of each lyric while sinking down to his knees and singing his heart out to a crowd that was initially indifferent.

Watching Safetysuit perform is like watching gymnasts on speed - Brown is hell-bent on jumping on top of everything within reach, guitarist Dave Garofalo only stops short of playing the guitar with his teeth and Tate Cunningham is trying to beat the drums into submission. It might sound like a hectic ballet, but, in fact, it's flawless to watch.

Listen to the band's studio recordings and it's evident it's a group of talented musicians, but seeing the group live is like seeing an artist at work as the bandmates perfectly move through each song and have the time of their lives rocking out.

On the surface, each song seems so simple because it is highly infectious, but a closer listen reveals an intricate weaving of instruments. You almost forget you're listening to a bunch of hyper guys in their 20s.

At one point, Brown threw himself into the audience, taking pictures with fans while continuing to sing without missing a beat. One mention of the band's number-one hit "Stay," which shot up VH1's countdown back in 2008, and girls literally broke into tears.

The crowd reaction as SafetySuit finished was like watching hardcore Beatles fans have an epic breakdown. It's ironic a half-hour earlier, the same people were restlessly ignoring the band.

SafetySuit hit the stage with the monumental challenge of winning over a crowd in 40 minutes, but they only needed 30 seconds.

Daughtry, of course, was the main event of the night and it was immediately evident why - he is one of the most talented vocalists to hit the pop-rock scene in years. No introduction was necessary as the room went black. All Chris Daughtry had to do was walk up to the microphone and belt in perfect-pitch tones to drive the crowd wild.

It's clear why the Greensboro, N.C., resident was a finalist on American Idol and why he remains one of the few popular artists to survive the reality competition. He had "rock star" oozing from his pores and the crowd soaked up every ounce of it.

SafetySuit setlist
Something I Said
Let Go
Staring At It
These Times
Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen cover)
The Moment

Daughtry setlist
Break The Spell
Feels Like Tonight
Crawling Back to You
Losing My Mind
Outta My Head
Start of Something Good
What About Now
Louder Than Ever
Over You
No Surprise
Runnin' Down A Dream (Tom Petty cover)

Rebel Yell (Billy Idol cover)
It's Not Over

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