Plain White T’s Live at The Trocadero 4/22/2007

February 24th, 2008
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Eyebrows rose quizzically upon learning the Plain White Ts’ “Every Second Counts” tour lineup: The pop-rock favorites were to be joined by two indie groups and a Canadian hardcore band. Though it was obvious some were in attendance at the Trocadero Theatre for the purpose of seeing one act, even the preteen girls with ‘I <3 PWT!’ markered on their hands gave each performance due attention.Surprisingly, it was the more obscure openers who made the night, stealing the show away from its headliners. Dear and the Headlights bathed the Troc in dreamily optimistic lyrics and clear shining guitars. His voice quavering slightly but controlled and never straining, lead singer Ian Metzger perfectly conveyed the meaning in every word sung. The reminiscent “Sweet Talk” erased any negative vibes for a few minutes using the power of poetry with intermittent bursts of vocal energy.

In a grand display of arching, Muse-like layers of crescendo and melody, Cleveland band Lovedrug brought the mood down to a satisfactory eeriness. With backing vocals like wailing spirits, “Pushing the Shine” would work just as well in a horror film pursuit scene as it does for rocking out. Before one could pin a certain style to them, singer Michael Shepard went to an upright piano adorned with a duct-tape heart to play “Thieving,” which borrowed cues from mellow British alt-rock balladeers Coldplay and Radiohead. “Casino Clouds” and “Ghost By Your Side” fell somewhere in between, the guitars coming into prominence once again and darker lyrics sung above a whisper.

Boys Night Out fans rivaled the number of those waiting for the main act and most certainly made their presence known. From the first note, moshing broke out and the wild sounds of lead vocalist Connor Lovat urged them on. While they didn’t sound spectacular due to high and muddy volume, Boys Night Out undoubtedly gave the most energetic, jump-around performance of the night. “I Got Punched in the Nose for Sticking My Face in Other People’s Business” had even those slightly frightened of the band clapping their hands. Songs like “Medicating” with more actual singing allowed for a slight break to enjoy a boppy chorus without physically bopping into others every few seconds.

Despite this tour being named after their latest album, Plain White Ts’ played a large number of older songs throughout their set. Singer Tom Higgenson struggled slightly on high or loud notes, but the audience was too busy swooning to notice. Fans faithfully sang along with “You and Me” while embracing their significant other or dreaming of that special crush. “Hate is a Strong Word” was among the many songs that sounded almost exactly as on record, which in this case made for a duller live act. Higgenson changed which side of the stage to sing from occasionally, but was otherwise not energetic; the rest of the band remained glued to their spots. The show was wisely encored with the simple yet sincere summertime hit “Hey There Delilah,” featuring only Higgenson and an acoustic guitar in the spotlight.

By Danielle Reicherter Posted in Editorials