He Is Legend / Drop Dead Gorgeous @ Highline Ballroom

NEW YORK, NY—I should have known something as small as a set time change would happen to a show I’ve been excited about for a while now. About two years have gone by since He Is Legend has rolled through town on a day I would be able to make it out for them. So of course, when The Hot N’ Heavy tour came to the Highline Ballroom, set times were changed last minute.

The tour was in support of Drop Dead Gorgeous’ new album of the same name. They brought along He Is Legend as well as Before Their Eyes and And Then There Were None. But I arrived with only four songs left on He Is Legend’s set list and got in a great little spot to fully experience the little time we had left.

They were already into a new tune from their upcoming album due out this summer, It Hates You. It’s good to hear they’ve kept with the same vibe as on their previous release, Suck Out The Poison. From what I gathered, they mainly stuck to songs from Suck Out The Poison and debuted a few new ones.

Once they wrapped up a familiar track, “China White,” another recognizable guitar riff kicked in. I was excited as to what I was hearing, but then it dawned on me—it wasn’t a new song, but rather they had decided to tackle a pretty weighty cover.

They played “Breed” by Nirvana and I have to say, they did the song justice. What made the song was that they played it as themselves and musically, they stuck to the original tune, but added a little He Is Legend touch to it. Lead singer Schuylar Croom’s voice also has that grit to it found in Kurt Cobain’s voice, so it was quite fitting.
My thoughts went to how they would end their set, as I felt the end was near. They brought in a final new tune, but gave no signs that it would be their last. Then the opening few notes of fan favorite “I Am Hollywood” kicked in and the audience got ready. Then just as the vocals would have kicked in, Croom dropped the microphone and fluttered off the stage.

Left in confusion, things were only made a little bit odder when headlining band Drop Dead Gorgeous brought out mannequins that had their bodies painted in black on stage. Having seen them once before and not terribly impressed with their performance, I figured they only had room to be better.

With not much of a build-up, they got right into business. The first part of their set was tracks from their new album, The Hot N’ Heavy. The music sounded easier and more streamlined than from last I saw them play. I even got into a few songs, one that stuck out was “Two Birds One Stone.”

Even though I’m not familiar with their catalog, I could definitely hear a difference in the music when they switched back to older songs. They got a little bit more chaotic and busy with screams and heavy, frantic guitars.

It all came back around though as they finished up a somewhat short set. But maybe it was for the best as it was sometimes hard to listen to lead singer Danny Stillman, as he sounded as if he was struggling with a sore throat.