On Tuesday August 13, three bands took it upon themselves to show Philly fans that rock music is not dead. This isn't an easy task, this is the city that once booed Santa Claus. With the oppressive heat outside, it was up to each band to win over the crowd, and each did just that.
Hitting the stage first was an EmpyreLounge.com favorite, Greenwheel. The young St. Louis band probably had the hardest task ahead of them as they have been getting little support from Philly radio. Ripping into "Faces," the crowd was quick to perk up to what they were hearing. Sticking to their debut release, Soma Holiday, the band was tearing up the Factory. The band really hit their stride mid-set with killer versions of "Identity," "Radiance," "Breathe," and what I thought was the highlight of the set, "Dim Halo." The stage presence of singer Ryan Jordan was helping to win over the fans. His multiple attempts at a stage dive gave the subdued crowd some early excitement.
With hit single "The Energy" in tow, much of the audience already knew the next band. Audiovent came to the stage and brought pure energy. The crowd popped for "One Small Choice" but nearly blew the roof of with the rarely played "Underwater Silence." These Californian rockers are definitely set to make more news in rock.
After a short break, Our Lady Peace came to the stage for the final set of the night. Who knew the Canadian rockers packed as much punch as they did, or that their fans were so die-hard? I sure as hell had no clue. Swaying and singing along with every song, the band was merely hitting its stride by the time Raine Maida, lead singer, climbed across the ledge of the balcony and belted out the group's hit song, "One Man Army," while hanging over the crowd. The factory could not get any louder than when Raine pulled a Vedder-esque fall into the thousands of fans who caught him below.
Looking on in utter joy during all of this was Ryan Jordan. Singing along with every word, you could tell the young rocker was soaking it all in, almost studying the OLP performance. Like a proud father at a Little League game, Ryan was quick to tell that that was the first stage dive of the tour for Maida, and he had been coaxing him the whole time to break one off, though you could not think that the balcony fall was what Ryan had in mind. Ryan watched the whole OLP set with us while drinking more than a few beers. Next time though Ryan, you're a rock star
we'll let you pick up a round or two.
I never realized how many OLP songs I did know. New songs such as "Innocent" and current single "Somewhere Out There" topped the impressive set. Songs strong enough to make the casual OLP listener, myself included, go back and check out a surprisingly great live band.