NEW YORK, NY—On Friday, Oct. 21, Terminal 5 was packed with teen heartthrobs and indie rock bands. The venue was featuring an accomplished lineup comprised of Carter Husley, Fake Problems, A Rocket To The Moon, Plain White T’s and NeverShoutNever. Upon entering the room, I realized the crowd was primarily teenage girls. No surprises there.
The first to take the stage was Carter Husley. Known for his soulful voice and emotional lyrics, he played songs off of his album What You Carry. Overall his performance was exceptional; his voice was an indistinguishable copy of his studio recordings. I found his songs calming and heartfelt. They appeared to be influenced by both indie and country genres. Since Husley is a somewhat new artist, I had assumed the crowd would be more disinterested. However, his performance had a captivating tenacity that caused audience members to nod their heads in appreciation. He played a mixture of energetic tunes and slower, acoustic ones.
Next up were Fake Problems, a band with an entirely different feel than Husley. The band itself was more high-energy, complete with a rambunctious lead singer. Their set was intense and provocative. Characterized with inappropriate jokes and foul language, Fake Problems created an entertaining atmosphere. The band sang their most popular hits, including “Soulless” and “The Dream Team.” After their last song, the band left the stage chanting, “Best band ever!”
Well-known alternative-rock group A Rocket To The Moon was up next. The band members were dressed in hipster-like rags and enticed the crowd with their boy-band charisma. They performed an acoustic cover of “Free Falling” by John Mayer, a smart decision, considering that everyone in the room knew the lyrics. Even those that had never heard an ARTTM song were singing along. They then went on to give heartfelt performances of their popular singles “Like We Used To” and “Dakota,” as well as more upbeat songs like “Annabelle.” The band also gave a unique rendition of their original song “Baby Blue Eyes,” which ended with the chorus of “Absolutely Story of A Girl” by Nine Days. The vocal range of the lead singer was astonishing and his unique abilities were captured well live. They said farewell with a sweet rendition of “Mr. Right,” leaving the audience to finish off the last chorus.
The Plain White T’s took the stage shortly after with lead singer Tim Higgenson carrying a red, white and blue guitar. The lights dimmed and their entrance was quite suspenseful; the crowd was roaring with anticipation. The Plain White T’s surprised me with an added hard rock edge. Prior to the show, I was only familiar with their slow-song radio hits. Although they did perform “Boomerang” and “1234,” after a couple of slow songs an eerie change occurred. Strobe lights flashed and an intense guitar solo was played until the band erupted into a fast-paced song, “Cirque Dans La Rue.” Higgenson, with a sudden burst of energy, grabbed a megaphone and began running around the stage. After that, the band went back to its well-known hits. They sang “Rhythm Of Love,” bringing the audience back down to finish out the set.
After The Plain White T’s exited, the crowd grew anxious waiting for the headliner, NeverShoutNever. The stage was assembled with a backdrop of NSN’s album cover for Time Travel, an old-fashioned grandfather clock was placed on stage, and the teenaged girls in the audience shrieked with anticipation. When Christofer Drew and his band finally entered the room, the uproar was deafening. The indie meets-alternative-rock singer sang barefoot, as is his tradition, and gave a stellar performance with hits “What Is Love,” “On The Bright Side” and “Sellout.”
The band also performed more techno, dance rhythms from their most recent album, Time Travel, including “Lost At Sea” and “Silver Ecstasy.” Drew shocked me with his youthful voice and sheer talent. The 22-year-old filled the night with the sounds of his Indian chants, harmonica and ukulele. At the end of his performance, he emerged for an expected encore and left the stage running in high spirits, almost knocking over the drum set on his way out.