Music Reviews — 24 October 2011
Never Shout Never with Plain White T’s: A LocalBozo.com Concert Review

Never Shout Never w/ Plain White T’s
Terminal 5, New York, NY
October 21st, 2011

While New York is a market that seemingly caters to hip hop stars and indie music icons, pop rockers have seemingly found a specific niche to be successful in a manner that has frankly evaded many would-be hard rock acts. And so Friday night’s concert at Terminal 5 proved once again that catering to a younger audience might just have some merit at least as far as getting people to come out to live shows. A sea of late teens converged upon the west side venue, with their parents in tow, for an evening of pop rock headlined by Joplin, Missouri quartet Never Shout Never.

Concert Review: Plain White T's

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As the clock struck 8:45pm at the all ages show, the lights touched down to darkness as lead singer Tom Higgenson led his band Plain White T’s out to the stage in support of the headliners. Opener “Irrational Anthem” was a jostle to the mostly younger crowd, leading to the familiar “Our Time Now” and “1,2,3,4,” some of the band’s more well known singles, which the crowd sang out in unison. Drummer De’Mar Hamilton proved to be a revelation live, frenetically pounding the percussion at will, leaving exclamation points with each beat, and really adding to the band’s live performance just based on his skill. As the set continued to wind down, the audience waited patiently as Higgenson emerged alone holding only his acoustic guitar as the crowd waited with baited breath for what was coming next. Like a hundred stars emerging at once, the digital cameras became raised and a collection of voices joined the singer’s as he played the familiar chords of 2007’s smash “Hey There Delilah.” Their abbreviated supporting set did nothing to diminish the fact that the band was surprisingly quite good live, with Higgenson’s vocals faring just as well here as on their albums. Closing with “Hate,” Plain White T’s capably held their own on stage and surprised us as much as anyone of their talents as a live act.

Concert Review: Never Shout Never

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Never Shout Never was on last to close the show, with a 75 minute set that had the crowd swooning in its entirety. Admittedly unfamiliar with the band prior, vocalist Christofer Drew quickly showed his chops as a frontman- defiantly parading around the stage, with the confidence and charisma of a young Axl Rose- though their fan bases are slightly different. Outfitted with sleeves of tattoos and cutoff black jean shorts, Drew, the bad boy rock star, and his band knew exactly what to do to satiate the hungry teens swooning over his every glance. Songs like “Coffee & Cigarettes” and “On the Brightside” proved fun and fast paced for the rambunctious fans, with Drew’s vocal pitch raising to the levels recorded in studio. The highlight was Drew donning a harmonica for a down home country styling of “Piggy Bank,” which was light and infectious before slowing down with the melancholy “Sellout.” Interestingly, drummer Caleb Denison and guitarist Hayden Kaiser would switch instruments in the middle of the set, as Drew was posturing to his audience- his command of them never wavering throughout as their adoration of him remained constant. Said Drew “Playing in the City is one of my favorite things to do.” Judging by the Beatles-like reaction Drew and his band mates received from an uproarious audience, seeing Never Shout Never was in turn, one of their favorite things to do.

- Jane Van Arsdale

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