Lead singer AJ Perdomo declared the show will be the best one on their 24 date U.S tour. Near the start of the show, The Dangerous Summer (named after the Ernest Hemingway book) gave the crowd a mission to find a bar to meet up after their show. Since the show seemed more like a gathering of friends, the crowd was excited to continue the party.
The band formed in Elliott City, Maryland in 2006 recently changed their home base to Denver, Colorado. Perdomo repeatedly expressed his fondness for the Mile High City. He even loves the thin air stating, “You cannot get air like this anywhere in the whole world…. It makes you feel f*cking alive.” Guitarist Matt Kennedy fell in love in Denver. He met his wife at the Marquis in 2018.
Blind Ambition was appropriately their first song of the night. It detailed the sacrifices an artist takes for their art. Since the pandemic took so much away from everyone, it was cathartic to hear Perdomo sing the chorus, “It’s what’s in my heart again.” The same sediment came across when the band performed Bring Me Back To Life. Someone in the crowd shouted out a request. Perdomo sympathetically told him, “We are not going to play that one, but you will not be disappointed.”
The combination of Kennedy’s passionate guitar playing and Perdomo’s gut-wrenching vocals made you feel every emotion conveyed in the lyrics. The band was holding nothing back. Just when things were getting a little too serious, Jäger-Bombs were served. Perdomo downed it and said, “It takes like high school.”
The title song from the upcoming album Coming Home got the audience excited for more good things to come. Perdomo declared the album was completed, but confessed he didn’t know when it was coming out. They will be releasing it on their own independent label. Before leaving the stage, Perdomo made sure the crowd was going to get together at Scruffy Murphy’s (the crowd’s choice) to continue the party.
While standing in line to get some pizza between bands, I noticed the merch guy at Cory Wells booth was signing a guitar for a starstruck kid. That’s when I realized the merch guy was Cory Wells (the baseball hat threw me off). During his set, Wells told the crowd he was his own merch guy for this tour and to come say hello.
The Los Angeles based Wells is heavy influenced by Emo legend Dashboard Confessional. He adapted a similar style of building songs into an explosion of intensity. Wells even name checks Dashboard Confessional in his latest release Do You Like That You Love Me about his struggles with depression. “When I drove you home from the Dashboard show/Everything just felt so perfect/Wishing you’d forget all the sh*t I said/Can’t escape this thought that we’re different.”
This is Wells first tour playing with a full band. During his performance, he was full of gratitude of being able to perform live music again. Unlike AJ Perdomo, Wells struggled with the lack of oxygen at the high altitude. He apologized for performing too many slow songs together. But he needed to breath. It appeared that performing was also something he required as a form of therapy. The tune Patience (not a Guns N’ Roses cover) gave a glimpse of his struggles. “Can’t seem to make this go away/This never-ending price I pay/And I’ve got hope for this/’Cause I know somehow, I’ll see the light of day/And every time I wake, I’m thinking of you/Don’t leave it up to me, or I’ll close my eyes for good/Sometimes I wish I could/Sometimes I think I should.” Remember there is a reason they call this genre of music Emo.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the one buying the band Jäger-Bombs.