>> It can be easy to forget the tight-knit and supportive environment that has been built in the Rochester area-- but it is events such as Best Life 2018 which remind us of the community’s ability to come forward and support a common goal over a full day of excellent music, enticing raffles, and a well-deserved slice of Schiano’s Pizza. Best Life 2018: A Concert to Benefit Young Adults and Teens Battling Cancer was organized by Charlie Coté who made frequent appearances throughout the night to announce raffle winners between sets and give heartwarming announcements to each band before they took the stage. Featuring a number of Rochester’s finest musicians from Anamon’s powerful garage-rock set to Mikaela Davis’ enchantingly dreamy harp-based tunes, Anthology was filled with a diverse group of adored musical acts which kept listeners entertained and eager to stay from the first to the final moment of the night. Each band performed a thirty to forty-five-minute set, which gave the audience a broad and exciting peek into the creativity that has been occurring throughout the Rochester area.
The event kicked off with Vacation Daze offering hazy tunes supported by the uplifting and high-energy stage presence of vocalist/keyboardist Ian Egling. Singing out feel-good psych pop lyrics and maintaining a look of unstoppable joy throughout the duration of the set, Vacation Daze provided the audience with a phenomenal level of positive energy. After a brief change, The Stedwells took the stage and illustrated the fierce organization and cleanliness to their sound by exemplifying the full command each member had over their respective instruments. Playing songs from their latest release ‘I’m Too Tall For My Time Machine,’ the alternative rock and roll trio gave a seamless performance which kept the crowd on their feet and eager to stick around to hear more.
The third musician to take the stage, Ben Morey, has been one of the most consistent and promising singer-songwriters in the Rochester area, and his full-band performance as Ben Morey and the Eyes complimented the exhilaratingly gorgeous lyricism present within his minimalistic folk songs. Playing simplistic yet captivating tunes such as “Negative Space” from his full-length album ‘With Birds,’ the five-piece band featuring vocals from Mikaela Davis filled the room with melancholy melodies for quiet contemplation. As raffle announcements were made and the stage was reset, Dangerbyrd entered the room with vocalist Alex Patrick donning a leather fringe poncho and a trusty brown hat that stayed true to the ‘cowboy’ aesthetic which was strangely ever-present at Anthology throug