PHILADELPHIA, PA—It was a sold out show, a packed house by the first act and a night of Jane Fonda-like aerobic moves on stage. The Sweet Brag Tour was headlined by The Devil Wears Prada and fleshed out by A Day To Remember, Sky Eats Airplane and Emarosa. Each had a similar sound that pleased everyone in the crowd, but still provided a different experience each set.
I had missed most of Emarosa’s set, a big disappointment for my evening, but was fortunate to at least catch their last song, “Set It Off Like Napalm.” Musically, they maintain a steady and consistent ambient sound that is the perfect backdrop for lead singer Jonny Craig’s dynamic voice. Craig has quite the presence on stage, with vocals that escape his mouth even more effortlessly than fellow band mates make playing the music look. Going by just this song, it must have been a no frills set, letting listeners enjoy what these guys are doing with no distractions.
Last fall, I had seen Sky Eats Airplane for the first time and walked away more impressed with their stage lighting than music. With vocals and melodies a bit more recognizable through the acoustics at this venue, they won me over slightly. However, the action in the pit below was more entertaining to watch.
Their music made me nervous and anxious, with everything as heavy as they could make it with vocals kept to screaming than singing, as their vocalist, Jerry Roush, is not a very powerful singer. They succeed in creating tension in their music that so many other bands of the genre do that kids seem to love to move around to.
What made me chuckle and kept me listening was how Roush continuously pranced around the stage, running in place à la my memories of my mom’s Jane Fonda work-out tapes. Funny enough, the remaining bands would imitate this action—A Day To Remember had all members for one chorus doing it in sync. So my question was as to who started the trend of the evening.
Victory Records’ band of the moment, and understandably so, is Florida’s own A Day To Remember. From the balcony, you could witness the fans emerge from all over the venue and flood to the main floor. It was a high-energy show from the moment their intro music started to last note, with a surprise confetti shower along with it.
They ran through many songs off their new album, Homesick, starting with “The Downfall Of Us All.” They seem to combine almost every element found in genres ranging from punk to hardcore to pop and it was exciting to listen and watch this band produce something fresh and different.
Tracks from their first album, For Those Who Have Heart, such as “Plot To Bomb The Panhandle” received quite the response from fans. But every song had their moments where fans sang louder than singer, Jeremy McKinnon, and he was sure to make note of their enthusiasm. However, their cover of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” was not on the evening’s set list.
For me, the spotlight of the evening was ADTR, even with The Devil Wears Prada’s singer, Mike Hranica, coming out to aid on vocals for “I’m Made Of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?” For headliners of the evening, The Devil Wears Prada, fans were out and alive in full force.
The band gave a good performance and included a few tracks off their upcoming album, With Roots Above And Branches Below. They, along with ADTR soon after this tour, will be hitting the road for this year’s Warped Tour. I don’t know where they’ll find they energy as one show seemed enough to tired anyone out.