Up-and-coming pop rockers SafetySuit recently played Penn’s Peak with Go Radio and Taylor Berrett. We took advantage of an invite to take a jaunt up to the mountains to check out the show.
Having never been to a concert (only wine festivals) at the venue before we were interested in seeing how a show was there. We arrived shortly before Taylor Berrett was finished playing so unfortunately didn’t get to see much of his set.
Go Radio, however, was fantastic. As in as good if not better than SafetySuit, the headliner. In the days following the show we’ve seen fairly significant hype online regarding their new album, Close the Distance, which was released today. And for good reason. The band’s set was hugely energetic and far more intense than the ~200 people they were playing for. A few fans in the crowd were obviously fans, some even sporting Go Radio shirts. After tearing through their setlist they garnered a decently-sized line (especially considering the attendance) at their merch table for autographs and albums.
Next up was, of course, SafetySuit. As mentioned previously, the crowd was unsurprisingly small for this show considering the fact that Penn’s Peak seems to hold more oldies-style bands and it was a Sunday night. That didn’t matter, as the fans that were there were extremely devoted, many of them singing along every word to every song.
The stage was set dark — too dark, actually. That didn’t stop the lead singer Doug Brown from displaying moments of brilliance, something the rest of his bandmates failed to do. Staying mostly inanimate while Brown threw his arms open and jumped into the crowd, they lacked the same intensity as their frontman. Still, the show proved more than entertaining enough to hold one’s attention.
As he jumped down to the pit area in front of the stage barriers, he picked out a lucky fan who wanted a song sung about them. One lucky Sara(h?) received a song sung basically face-to-face with the SafetySuit frontman as other fans cheered around her. Brown abandoned the stage multiple times throughout the show to make use of the railings along the sides of the pit to serenade fans. The best moment of the show, oddly enough, came during a song that wasn’t even a band original. Performing their own rendition of Jeff Buckley via Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, the band really came together fantastically. It began with an electronic beat and morphed into a huge, bombastic, and beautiful combination of guitars topped with soaring vocals.
The ending was the best not for the show but for the fans. The frontman came down into the crowd and wandered for a good damn while taking pictures with cellphone cams of various fans. It was a fitting ending to a show that seemed filled with a small, yet diehard crowd of fans.
The question we’re looking forward to the answer to is who will get huge first? SafetySuit has garnered some popularity, especially with iTunes and online sales, but Go Radio seems to be getting a ton of press about their (admittedly fantastic) new album. Either way, we’re glad to see both of these young bands in an intimate setting despite some shortcomings.