Thursday night The Academy Is show at Emo’s was the ultimate teen rock fest of a concert. I might as well have been a parent. As a matter of fact, this show had more parents there than ACL (not really). Upon arrival, I was starting to wonder if I was in the right place. I showed up to see one of my favorite new bands, Carolina Liar.
When I first got to Emo’s, Hey Monday had just started their set.
They were the second band to go on and already had the crowd excited. I first heard Hey Monday on a Fall Out Boy mix tape I was sent this summer. I know I can’t be the first out there to say this publicly, but one can’t help but draw Paramore comparisons. If Paramore had a younger sibling, Hey Monday would be it. That being said, being compared to Paramore is not a bad thing. Anytime a young Alternative Press looking band of guys has a young female lead, like Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday, Paramore is who you are judged against.
Hey Monday was received well by the young crowd. Their music was a little young for me, but I can see why the kids love it. Their music is fast, energetic and catchy. It is all about the hooks and sing alongs in this young power pop genre. Hey Monday has all those elements. Listen to How Long? and see for yourself. It is their best song off their album “Hold On Tight”.
After Hey Monday, Carolina Liar came on. With the shirts they were wearing, they could have been called Carolina Boy Scouts. I dig the band, but I didn’t quite get the outfits. One of their guitar players looked like the guy who played Stiffler on American Pie and had the hipster headband on. None of the band matched their lead singer, Chad Wolf, who was in a blue cub scout uniform. He also looks a little bit like Jesus with a scarf.
The unusual choice of wardrobe is the only negative thing I have to say about Carolina Liar or their set Thursday. Their radio hit I’m Not Over has been playing on 101X locally for some time now and I sing to it in my truck. Their sound is more indie rock/alternative compared to the rest of the bands on the bill. How they got on this tour or this show baffles me.
Carolina Liar sounded just as good as they do on CD Thursday. Scot Wolf is a phenomenal singer and song writer. He doesn’t lose a step or miss a note live. At least he didn’t Thursday night. He epitomizes what a rock front man should be. He woos the ladies in the crowd while flailing his long hair and scarf, often dropping to his knees. Backed by a good band and great keyboard sounds, Carolina Liar stands out from an over saturated market of indie bands. His best expressions and rock star moves come during Show Me What I’m Looking For and what sounds like an 80s hair metal ballad, Coming to Terms. On Coming to Terms, the key board and over all vibe remind me of old Motley Crue ballads or even bad Cinderella songs. I loved it. The power ballad needs to be brought back to rock. I dug it all.
The young crowd also loved Carolina Liar and sang along to I’m Not Over as they concluded their set with their big hit. It will soon be a timeless classic that Bob plays in his radio station years from now. I still hear it on 101X now. In case you live under a rock or missed the show, check out this clip from the show: