Concert Reviews

Bleachers Concert Review

Bleachers Concert Review (with special guests Joywave and Night Terrors of 1927) – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom – 03.29.15

Jack Antonoff of Bleachers
Jack Antonoff of Bleachers (Photo: Delaney Canfield / CleveRock)

Up and coming Bleachers performed at Beachland Ballroom on Sunday (3.29.15) in support of their debut album, ‘Strange Desire’ (2014).

Usually when a new(ish) act plays their first show in a big city, they’ll perform at a low capacity venue, perhaps to a decent size crowd (for a small venue), hoping to be good enough to leave an impression lasting enough to be able to draw return customers next time through town.

This was not the case for Bleachers whatsoever. Not only did they sell out the Beachland Ballroom on Sunday night, but they played such a high energy and fun show it’s safe to say they’ll have no problem selling out an even bigger venue on their next visit to Cleveland.

While Bleachers is a relatively new band, frontman Jack Antonoff has been in the spotlight for years, first with his now defunct band Steel Train, and later with his current band, Grammy Award winning fun.

Unlike most pop bands that use flashing lights and loud backtracks as they make their entrance, Bleachers chose to go a different direction and entered the stage to “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” from the Broadway musical, Annie. Fans gladly laughed and sang along, which quickly turned into screams as the five members entered the stage; the loudest screams of all, of course, welcomed Antonoff.

Having only one album out, it was easy for fans to predict which songs the band would perform. What was less easy to predict was the energetic and fun atmosphere the band created. From their opening song “Like a River Runs” to their closing hit “I Wanna Get Better,” fans were singing and dancing along to every song on the band’s short set list. Antonoff was energetic throughout the night, running around the stage and jamming on his guitar, making sure to interact with the crowd as much as possible.

Other fan favorites of the night included “Shadow” and “Rollercoaster,” both popular songs off of, ‘Strange Desire.’ To add some diversity to the set, Antonoff came on stage for a solo encore to play an acoustic version of “Bullet,” a fan favorite from Steel Train. Despite the band disbanding in 2013, fans still sang along to every word, showing their dedication as fans of Antonoff and his music.

Despite the band having such a complex sound on their album, none of that was lost in their live performance. The band featured two very skilled keyboard players (one who displayed equal talents on the tenor saxophone while the other rotated between guitar and bass) and two drum kits, giving the band a powerful and unique sound that separates them from the hordes of generic pop bands. The musicians that Antonoff had backing him each played solos to showcase their talents that and, with the help of Antonoff’s enthusiasm toward his bandmates’ skills, left fans cheering for more.

Of course, no show is complete without opening bands, and Bleachers brought along two great bands to get the crowd excited. Night Terrors of 1927, who are on the road in support of their most recent album, ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses,’ kicked off the night and, despite having a very generic pop sound, they were still a fun group to see perform. Their catchy lyrics, especially in the song “When You Were Mine” and fun keyboard and guitar patterns enticed fans and left them wanting more as the set concluded.

Following Night Terrors was Rochester, New York natives, Joywave, a group of guys whose sound blended the worlds of electronic rock and classic indie rock. Their upbeat sound got fans up and dancing, mimicking the fun moves of lead singer Daniel Armbruster. The band’s fast beats and heavy bass lines made even the fans who had never heard of the band prior to the show dance along. Fans especially loved their closing song “Tongues” that featured creative synth patterns and an upbeat bass line that had everyone tapping their toes and clapping along. Joywave’s new album, ‘How Do You Feel Now?’ is due out on April 21, 2015.

Despite having short sets, both bands made the most of their time on the stage and got the audience excited for a fun and energetic night of music.
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Bleachers Official Site | Bleachers on Facebook @bleachersmusic
Joywave Official Site | Joywave on Facebook@joywavemusic
Night Terrors of 1927 Official Site | Night Terros of 1927 on Facebook | @nto1927

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