Music Reviews — 21 June 2012
Vertical Horizon at the Beekman Beer Garden: A LocalBozo.com Concert Review

Vertical Horizon
Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club, New York, NY
June 20th, 2012

Concert Revew: Vertical Horizon at the Beekman Beer Garden

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Despite temperatures soaring on Wednesday, swarms of people managed to make their way to New York City’s Financial District to the Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club. The outdoor venue which sits on the South Street Seaport and provides picturesque views of Brooklyn across the river, would be transformed into an outdoor rock venue, hosting the newly re-tooled rock lineup of Vertical Horizon. In a special ninety minute acoustic only set, the band ripped through their familiar hits, delighting the crowd on hand and performing some new tunes from their next upcoming release, slated for early 2013.

Frontman Matt Scannell, subject of a recent LocalBozo.com interview, has rounded the band out with three longtime friends and musicians from the west coast. But the quartet looked completely at ease on this sweltering Manhattan evening. At promptly 8:45pm, Scannell strolled onstage, leading his bandmates along the way. Seated at three stools, the harmonizing of acoustic strings meshed together as the band’s set took us on a trip down memory lane. The band opened with “You’re A God,” the infectiously catchy single from 1999’s “Everything You Want” album, which put the band on the map, and the first of six cuts from the album that Vertical Horizon would perform live.

Despite any time away from the commercial spotlight, Scannell’s vocals were as tight as ever, only enhanced by the intimate and informal setting of the Beach Club. Familiar tracks like “Finding Me,” “Send it Up,” and “Best I Ever Had” paced the unplugged set, highlighted by Scannell clearing the band offstage for a rousing solo rendition of “The Man Who Would Be Santa.” With the captivated crowd casually lounging with beers in hand seated at the venue’s picnic tables, the band launched into set closer “Everything You Want” allowing the entire room to sing aloud collectively. With just a few short minutes to run offstage and catch their breath, Vertical Horizon returned- this time to encore with 1999’s “We Are,” a fitting capper to a show proving that despite the nostalgia provided from hit singles made popular over a decade ago, the band still has plenty of creative fire to fuel their musical talents.

Speaking candidly with the frontman last week, it’s hard not to pull for Vertical Horizon. It’d be much easier to write off the band as a ‘few hits wonder,’ but this collection of musicians led specifically by such a talented vocalist and frontman frankly deserve better. After all, with a fanbase that’s clearly still excited to come out and see them and a potential new album on the way the band is showing no signs of slowing down. And if the new music is considered a success by any recognizable means, there’s a good chance that we’ll catch Vertical Horizon back here in New York City much more frequently in years to come.

- Jane Van Arsdale

Vertical Horizon- Live at the Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club

New York, NY

June 20th, 2012

1. You’re a God
2. Save Me From Myself
3. Finding Me
4. The Lucky One
5. Send it Up
6. Carrying On
7. The Man Who Would Be Santa
8. Goodbye Again
9. Won’t Go Away
10. Forever
11. Best I Ever Had
12. Everything You Want
13. We Are

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