Sunday, October 12, 2014

H!gh 5 Riot CD release party, 10/11/14

High 5 R!ot in the house!

Tonight Jane and I had the great pleasure to attend the CD release party for H!gh 5 Riot.  Everything about the night was perfect.  I loved the venue.  It was my first time visiting The Old Yellow Cab building and it felt like I was in Hamburg, Germany during the early days of the Beatles.  Yes, the venue is small, but it produces an atmosphere of intimacy that is unique in all the Oregon District.  You don't go to watch a show there, you go to participate in the show.  It was the perfect setting for Ashley Stacy.  She loves the people who turn out for the band's shows.  She doesn't just perform for the crowd, she jumps off the stage and gets up and close and personal with them.

Look, I've spent a lot of time in the Oregon District.  Many a weekend I've walked from bar to bar and listened to a lot of live music. I can't begin to count the number of times I've heard the same handful of songs performed from one club to the next.  I'm not faulting any of the bands, they're bar bands and they cater to the patrons who want to hear popular radio songs while consuming mass quantities of alcohol.  More often than not the bands are simply background noise.  High 5 R!ot isn't a bar band.  They're about making good music and partying with the many friends who come to see them perform.

High 5 R!ot and Ashley Stacy have learned an important secret often overlooked by other bands; Music isn't just about being on stage and being admired by people.  Good performers have a way of making a crowd feel like they're right up there on the stage with them and an important part of the show too.  Ashley Stacy is the master of the art of making a crowd feel like they're part of the show. And she doesn't do it with pithy verbal repartee between songs.  No, she does it by getting genuinely involved with the crowd.  She gets down off the stage and gets down with the crowd.  Point a camera at her and she's going to give you the picture that belongs to you and no one else.  It's magical and the crowd loves her for it.

And boy does she have a band: Andy Uzzel on bass, Austin labig on lead guitar, Sean McGrath on drums and Aaron Noble on keyboards.  They blend together perfectly.  Each member brings something to the table without which the overall sound wouldn't work.  They're tight.  There's an undeniable chemistry between the members of the band and they're producing something special. I can't wait to see what musical directions this band takes as they develop their own unique sound and style.  They aren't just performing, they're creating.

Anytime Ashley contacts me and says, "Hey, we're doing a show at _______, can you make it?"  I'm gonna be there.  And so should you.  There's something very special about this group of kids.  They make magic.  They make incredible music together.  And most importantly, they make you feel like they're there to see you.  They're not just creating a fan base, they're creating a family, and a circle of close friends who share the same love of music they share among themselves.

Mark my words folks, this band is gonna make some noise.  And a whole lot of friends too.  Give your ears a treat, pick up a copy of their new CD, Crowd Control, and you'll hear what I'm talking about.  Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

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