>> A three and a half hour drive to Clifton Park, New York was definitely worth it to see our friends in IronTom and lovelytheband, and get a double dose of Awolnation. This past Friday we saw a banger show at Upstate Concert Hall.
As we arrived and parked we looked over to the car parked beside us. The man inside was in the process of smoking a bowl. We cheered him on! We could tell it was going to be a great night, the spirit of rock n roll was here in Clifton Park! It was strange to see a concert venue in a strip mall near a grocery store but we went with it. Inside the venue, there were two bars. One in the middle and one on the right side of the wall. This was one of the smallest venues I have ever seen Awolnation play. An intimate show for a rock band with a huge following.
IronTom entered the stage first. Starting off their set with the high energy, dance song "Be Bold Like Elijah". You could immediately tell they won over the crowd. Harry Hayes' crazy dance moves, Zach Iron's insane guitar shredding, Dylan Williams' constant bumping rhythm, and Daniel Saslow's melodic keys all worked together seamlessly making IronTom's sound rich and full. The crowd went wild and absorbed every note beaming with excitement. At one point Harry's dance moves carried him over the edge, literally, he fell off the stage. Down he went taking with lighting equipment with him, thankfully just missing our photographer in the press pit. He got back up and carried on like nothing happened if that is not rock n roll I don't know what is! My only wish was that their set was longer.
Lovelytheband was up next. They started off the set with chill vibes. The crowd wasn’t really amped up until their cover of The Killers “When You Were Young” and then their hit song “Broken”. The whole crowd sang and danced along. The band echoed their energy, jumping around the stage and gettin’ into the music. Even though they didn’t start off with a bang they sure did end with one.
Awolnation, the band everyone was waiting for, finally got on stage. The audience might have recognized two band members from earlier, IronTom’s guitarist Zach Irons and keyboardist Daniel Saslow, who are also in Awolnation! In fact, Awolnation and IronTom are great friends! They tour together, write together, and are a rad musical fam. Aaron Bruno even helped IronTom record their album “Partners”. Opening with their title track of their latest album, “Here Come the Runts”. The energy in the room was contagious, everyone except for this one man who hadn’t moved the entire concert, was up and jumping around! They continued to play some of their new album, “Handyman”, “Passion”, “Table For One”, and mixed in some old hits, “Jump on My Shoulders”, “Kill Your Heroes”, “Not Your Fault”. Aaron Bruno jumping and shaking around on the stage with a full beard and long hair, rockin’ mountain man look. Awolnation ended with their biggest hit, the one everyone was eagerly waiting for, “SAIL”. We left with ears ringing and hearts full. One of the best rock concerts I have been to in a while. Worth it. <<