Friday, February 6, 2015

Better By Morning Concert Review

Last night a friend and I braved the cold to hear Better By Morning play at The Hollow in Albany. I haven't heard this band play live before, although I heard their music online, so I was excited to go to the show. I certainly wasn't disappointed! Better By Morning opened for Genevieve, who is currently on tour over the East Coast.

The poster lied. It started at 9.

Although a lot of people probably came out to see Genevieve perform, everyone clearly enjoyed the music that Better By Morning pushed out the speakers. The venue was pretty packed, even for a Thursday night, and there was a wide demographic of attendees, from high school students to college students, to even middle-aged people (who weren't parents of the younger ones in attendance, I must add). All people there were enjoying it and were attentive to the music.

I've known Jake Brooks (lead singer) for a number of years, and was glad to hear that after the breakup of his previous band Vontus, a new band has emerged. The ultra talented song-writing duo of Jake Brooks and Johnny Gravitt (guitarist) have stayed together and continued to create music. Joining them are Kyle Squires (drums) and Ali Genevich (back up vocals). Another bassist filled in for Brad Paquet, as he is away at college in MA. One of the amazing things about this band is how they still come together for gigs and performances, and manage to collaborate, even though a couple of the musicians are away at various colleges.

Their music is categorized as "alternative rock," but as other critics have noted, it spans further than alt. Their original songs (featured on their EP "YOU SAY") were complimented by a mashup of current pop hits (including Ed Sheeran) at the performance last night, and they allow their custom feel to penetrate even their covers. One thing I really appreciate is how Better By Morning is focusing on their original songs, whereas the previous band Vontus only had a couple originals and mostly did covers.  I think their mashup was the perfect way to infuse something familiar and safe into the concert, while still giving it their own unique twist.

There was never a dull moment at this performance. The music was fantastic and the volume levels were just right. I've found that a lot of bands/artists play their music too loud, almost like they want to force it on you so you can't escape it. Because this was a club setting it was loud, but not overly so. Jake is a natural performer in that he gets the crowd energized by his own enthusiasm. You can tell he loves what he does and he loves the crowd just as much. He's often seen jumping as he plays the bass, or holding his hands up as he sings. Johnny's amazing guitar skills were put on display again that evening with solos that would send experienced guitarists into frenzy. It's amazing how talented he is, especially when you weigh in his age. The drums were fantastic as usual, and I was impressed by the quality of the backup singer. Her voice complimented Jake's perfectly, and her balance wasn't so much that would overpower his,but just enough to be heard.

The overall presence of the group was impressive, seeming far beyond their years. I hope to see - and hear! - more from them in the near future!

You may be wondering why I haven't commented further on Genevieve, and that is because, for personal reasons, we had to leave the performance as soon as Better By Morning was finished playing. I would have liked to have the opportunity to hear Genevieve perform, and hopefully next time she's in the area I'll be able to catch that.

Better By Morning is planning to release their new EP soon, so stay posted!

Check out their Facebook and Twitter.

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