The studio is Webster Hall is kinda reminiscent of CBGB to me. Fans cram into a basement where there is a small stage in a really intimate setting. Chances are, you will have to really get there early to get a shot at being right up front. On this particular night there were three sold out shows in one night, which is insane in its own right. The Halsey and Young Rising Sons made their way through New York, which had been sold out for months. I mean, there were at least 300 people trying to fit like lego pieces for the duration of the night. Parents sat off to the side as their younger, kids which were mostly teenage girls screamed and sang the night away.
I had first caught the alternative rock band from Red Bank, NJ Young Rising Sons touring with The 1975 back last November. If you have not heard their hit song “High”, then you might be living under a rock. It’s been featured by the MLB, NHL and a couple of ABC shows as well. The band played a good hour long set, highlighting material from their two EP’s which came out in 2014. Some of the songs they played were “King of the World”, “Turnin”, and some new material that is supposed to be for an album that will come out later this year. Lead Singer/Guitarist Andy Tongren was definitely charismatic as a sea of fans reached out to him and his mic stand completely decked with American Flag decor for the entire set. The band even slipped a cover of Modern English‘s “Melt With You”, which was a pretty cool interpretation.
In my estimation and from seeing the crowd reaction, with the impending first album on the way, this band will be pretty big by that time. They have an accessibility and the pure American rock songs behind them that young girls will go crazy for, and the older crowd can get into as well. Fans had a little bit to catch their collective breaths, (it was pretty hot down there) before Halsey graced the stage. I had heard about Halsey from the buzz from South By So What, which made me curious to check out her live show. Popular is kind of an understatement.
From the opening song, “Castle”, as Halsey stepped out with her blue hair and played up to fans, it became deafening. Fans echoed the words to “New Americana” that bounced off the walls. There was a lot of dancing and phones raised in the air through “Trouble” and “Ghost”. “Y’all are making me cry up here – thank you so much for the support”, Halsey stated through the crowd midway through her energetic set. To name this tour the “American Youth Tour” was the right call. There was an abundance of youth not only present in the crowd that night, but also in the energy of the acts at Webster Hall as well.