Paradise Fears - Album Release Show
Paradise Fears kicked off 2016 with a bang with their album release show at Webster Hall on January 2nd. Having never heard the band before I didn't know what to expect, and was surprised to see that when I got there an hour before the show that the line to get in was already around the block and that there were some fans that had been waiting since 9am (that's 10 hours!!). Clearly this band has cultivated a loving fanbase. I got in and secured my spot by the front of the stage. As I was waiting I spoke to some of their fans who had gotten there early enough to be able to make it to the front row. The girls I spoke to were very friendly, and had nothing but great things to say about the band and the individuals who make it up, a sentiment that I wholeheartedly agree with after meeting the guys backstage.
The band classifies themselves as "theatrical alternative pop", and as soon as the show started I knew right away why they included the word theatrical. The lights were dimmed and when they came on Sam Miller (lead singer) waited offstage until it was time to come dashing on and start singing his part in the first song. They are all excellent musicians, their lighting was on point, and all of the members of the band had such great energy, which only fueled the fervor of the crowd.
The band (most notably, Sam Miller - lead singer) fed right into this energy by interacting with their fans at every possible moment, as well as having great back and forth on stage between members. About halfway through the set, the band explained how they found their drummer (Lucas Zimmerman) - they were hanging out with him and he played this "sick beat", which later turned into the intro to fan favorite song, Kid In Demand. The song was released on their very first EP The Secret to Dropping Out, and prior to this show had not been played since 2012. This resulted in possibly the loudest screams and highest energy from the crowd all night.
Sam also showed off some killer dance moves during the song Sentiment off of the album ife in Real Time. More upbeat than a lot of their usual songs, Miller incited a dance party saying that there was "no need to feel self conscious about looking like an asshole", which definitely helped to excite the crowd.
The band was also joined by some friends. We got to hear from Ace Enders, who sang a song with the band, as well as Lucas Zimmerman who killed it on the drum set for the whole show.
It wasn't all high energy and jumping around though. The band proved that they are more than capable of relaxing, lying back, and just making some awesome music. This was especially evident when 4 of the 6 members left the stage, leaving just Michael Walker and Sam Miller to perform on their own (the other members came back on for the 2nd half of the song and that really brought it all together beautifully).
The entire show was a roller coaster of emotions that was echoed by the fans, either in their screaming, laughing, or crying, and I'm truly in awe of these musicians who can put that much of themselves into their music. If you ever get a chance to see these guys, do it.