Leave it to Alternative Press Magazine, one of the music industry’s largest publications, to take an ordinary list of 100 bands you need to know and team up with Rockstar energy drinks to produce a full-fledged 32-city North American tour, featuring four rock bands that packed the floor of The Glasshouse on Wednesday, March 21.
The line-up consisted of Envy on the Coast, As Tall as Lions, Circa Survive and Cute Is What We Aim For, bands that would normally have been the opening acts for bigger artists, but in this case were lucky enough to have an entire tour dedicated to their performances. Despite not being too well-known, the bands did a great job of keeping the audience entertained in Pomona.
The first band to test their instruments on stage were the Long Island, New York quintet Envy on the Coast, who have toured extensively with bands such as 30 Seconds to Mars, Saosin and Head Automatica. Their vocals aren’t anything special and their sound is a bit hard to distinguish from other generic rock bands, yet songs such as ‘Suckerpunch,’ and ‘You Won’t Hear This’ made catching Envy on the Coast’s performance worthwhile.
Also hailing from Long Island were As Tall as Lions, who had an entirely different musical approach. Their ambient pop sounds were an entrancing addition to this tour. One of the highlights, ‘Ghosts of York,’ off their sophomore album, was rich but not overbearing. Unfortunately, their live performance was rather lackluster and some audience members appeared to be dozing off while standing up, a handy trick when dealing with such a performance in a standing-room-only venue like the Glasshouse.
As Tall as Lions did show variety, but they were a bit out of place. Still, their self-titled album released last year should give them the recognition they deserve. Alternative Press was correct in proclaiming As Tall as Lions a must-know band by including them in this tour.
Just when The Glasshouse couldn’t be more fully crammed with sweaty bodies on both the floor and balcony, along came Circa Survive to disrupt the peace that As Tall as Lions had created. Circa Survive is the band that never seems to take a break jumping from tour to tour. Their addition to the lineup was an essential part of what made the tour necessary in its efforts to help the other bands with their PR.
Surprisingly, Circa Survive was not the headlining act. Cute Is What We Aim For took the last performance spot of the night. The AP Tour put together an acceptable show, but ending it with Cute Is What We Aim For was a bit weak.
Bolstering the new wave of power pop, Cute Is What We Aim For’s music and stage presence could not match the insanity of Circa Survive’s. If drama within the band doesn’t tear them apart first, then Atlantic Records’ newly signed Cute will quickly disappear from the music charts.