Touring together, The Rocket Summer and Switchfoot made a stop off the beaten path, coming to Athens, Georgia, as part of their pre-summer tour. In the historic Georgia Theatre, pictured below, a full crowd was treated to about eight songs by The Rocket Summer who was the opening band for the show.
For those of you who are not familiar with The Rocket Summer, Bryce Avary is the song writer, producer, and lead singer… He’s on the keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums too. He’s a multi-talented musician who pays every piece of the band. Of course, this isn’t possible when performing live so I was unsure how good they would be in concert, but his touring bandmates filled in admirably, and there wasn’t a discernible difference from his recording sessions, when he plays every piece.
Avary’s showmanship was a big plus for the show. He took a picture of the crowd and posted it to social media for everyone to tag themselves. He also gave out free MP3 files of “Run And Don’t Stop.” You can click here to have one of the free MP3 files for yourself. It’s the lead track on his new, yet to be released, album which will be available on June 5th. I plan to listen to it in-depth a write a full review blog post, time permitting. (UPDATE: Life Will Write the Words Album Review)
Avary chose to play a lot of his newer songs such as “Of Men And Angels,” “Walls,” “I Need A Break…But I’d Rather Have A Breakthrough,” and track off his upcoming album, “Run And Don’t Stop.”
“Walls,” probably his slowest song of the night, was one of the best. My favorite song of his performance was “Do You Feel.” It was the only one that most of the crowd knew well enough to sing along, and frankly it was the best song on his set list. I was very disappointed that he chose not to play “So Much Love” or “Colors,” but there’s not time for everything when you’re only the opening act rather than the headliner. Speaking of which, The Rocket Summer will be going on tour again this summer after finishing the tour with Switchfoot, and they will be the headline act then, however they won’t be playing in the Carolinas. (UPDATE: Although the Rocket Summer skipped the Carolinas in their summer tour, I attended their stop in Charlotte on 3/22/13)
Though I went to see The Rocket Summer, most were there for Switchfoot. The song they are best known for, “Meant To Live,” was their second to last song and it was even better than expected. It was really brought to life in concert.
Aside from that though, a lot of the songs I didn’t know and were just decent. One song did stand out though. “The War Inside,” a track of their newest album that I hadn’t heard before was great live. I recommend checking it out. The lyrics are pretty well done on it. “This Is Your Life” was another really strong song that the crowd got very into. They played it early and closed with “Dare You To Move.” Overall, Switchfoot was solid. I was never a big fan of theirs, but I gained some respect for them after seeing them in person.
One last note, Bryce Avary said he had played in Athens once before. It was eight years ago at 40 Watt when he opened for Something Corporate. That would be a show I’d pay to see. Unfortunately, Something Corporate is now defunct, though seeing The Rocket Summer open for Jack’s Mannequin (Something Corporate’s successor in a sense) seems viable and nearly as fun.
Anyway, look out for my review of Life Will Write The Words by The Rocket Summer coming in June.
Life Will Write The Words: Track Listing
- Run and Don’t Stop (3:23)
- Revival (3:33)
- Prove It (3:44)
- Old Love (3:48)
- 200,000 (4:07)
- Just For A Moment Forget Who You Are (4:00)
- Circa ’46 (3:41)
- Underrated (3:48)
- Soldiers (3:26)
- The Rescuing Type (4:00)
- Scrapbook (4:09)
- Ashes Made of Spades (4:40)
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