Fallen From the Sky
Static Radio, Words Now Heard
Will’s Pub, Orlando, Fl • January 24, 2009
Saturday afternoons offer any number of possibilities, but for this Florida girl – defrosting after two weeks of unusually cold weather – it offered a matinee punk show at the newly relocated Will’s Pub. Though previously unfamiliar with the bill’s headliner (Fallen From the Sky), I figured that this was the perfect opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and check out the venue’s new digs… plus I had Static Radio’s set to look forward to!
The festivities began on a surprisingly mellow note, with Words Now Heard’s vocalist Chris Martin playing the set solo and acoustic. The self professed “fat fuck who looks like Jack Black” (you’re too hard on yourself, Chris) wielded a powerful voice that filled the room with impassioned songs that felt intimate yet not folky. Both the music and the voice are ripped straight from the emo pop handbook, with shades of Saves the Day, Say Anything, and Jimmy Eat World shining brightly. It’s Martin’s confident delivery that saved the sounds from falling flat on the concrete floor. Halfway through the set he was joined by Fallen From the Sky’s drummer who gave the songs the beats that were present when Words Now Heard had other members.
Static Radio NJ (note: the NJ part of their name is often left off) are a quartet touring as a trio for this winter run. Guitarist Little Mike had to sit this one out thanks to the dream-crushing economy, leaving guitar duties to fall on vocalist Mike’s shoulders. Musically the band sounded tight as ever, but the guitar kept Mike tied to the microphone stand rather than in the audience’s faces – as he most often spends his stage time.
This separation from the crowd gave the band a different vibe, but not necessarily a bad one. The vocals sounded stronger and the performance more focused on the music, as opposed to trying to stir up a vicious pit, which was was not in the cards for the band on this fine winter day anyway. The crowd was largely unresponsive, though polite, to the band and their music. Static Radio is still a little known nugget of goodness from the land of melodic hardcore and unless they decide to do a mainstream tour with Alternative Press-approved bands they may stay that way for a while. Though I wish them well, I hope that they stay the hell away from those neon tours of Crayola colored crap.
To keep things interesting, the band threw in a couple of cover songs that went by so fast I almost missed ‘em. It was only later that I realized they had played “Turnpike Gates” by fellow New Jersey boys Lifetime, and “Panic Song” by fellow three piece Green Day.
South Florida’s Fallen From the Sky has an Orlando following that I had no idea about. The band – more melodic punk – hardly got through their first three notes of the set and already the whole front half of the room began churning. It wasn’t so much a pit as a stage rushing battle for the singer’s attention and microphone. Singing along while climbing atop of strangers, the once calm and cool crowd quickly turned the show into an exciting one. Vocalist Ryan, who looks like a more clean cut Dan Yemin (Paint it Black, Lifetime), had the audience eating out of his hand and even I found myself getting lost inside of songs I had never even heard before. “Dead Wrong” is one infectious song that burrowed its way into my head very quickly.
At the set’s end I stepped outside to find the streets bathed in sunset, and hours left in my Saturday. Afternoon shows are a beautiful thing that more venues like Will’s Pub should embrace wholeheartedly.