Touring in support of their latest album, The Awakening, Floridian alt-rockers Red Jumpsuit Apparatus swung through Dallas last night for an intimate gig at RBC. Joined by Los Angeles rockers Rivals and local support from NU-95 and Page 9, the band filled the venue with an enthusiastic crowd who was eager to hear the bands new material and get down on their past hits.
NU-95 and Page 9 kicked things off as the crowd was still filing in to RBC. Those who got there early were treated to NU-95’s pop-punk set that sounded polished, but still rough enough around the edges to offer a raw appeal. Page 9 delivered their alt-rock/power-pop set with vigor. The band, who began in 2006, had the swagger of veteran musicians and the hunger of a new band trying to prove themselves. Both the local acts did their city proud as more people showed up and gravitated closer to the stage with each successive song.
Also on the road supporting a new album, Rivals hit the stage with an energy that never waned as they powered through songs from their debut Damned Souls. Fronted by vocalist Kalie Wolfe, the band was finely tuned and confident as she lit up the room with her voice and presence. Mining the darker regions of pop-rock, the band has considerably more depth than the word “pop” usually suggests. While the crowd wasn’t too familiar with the bands material, they slowly won them over with each song. As Wolfe filled the room with her voice, the crowd only became more intrigued until they were completely sold on the band.
By the time Red Jumpsuit Apparatus took the stage, the venue had filled up nicely and the crowd was restless with anticipation. Opening with songs from their new album, the band didn’t waste any time getting the crowd into it – even teaching them the hooks so they could sing along to the new material. As they progressed through their set and began hitting the older material, the crowd only got more energetic. Of course, when they played their 2006 hit “Face Down” the audience took in the live performance by watching it through their cell phone screens. Fucking kids these days, amiright? Nevertheless, if the crowd wasn’t singing along they were applauding the bands every move. The band displayed all the qualities that have earned them a strong fanbase: their songs are well-crafted, their live performances is better than the record, and their gratitude for their fans is obvious.
– J. Kevin Lynch (words); DeLisa McMurray (photos)
– click to enlarge photos –