I Call Fives came to Barrington, Illinois at the Penny Road Pub for their record release tour with supporting act The Sheds. You can check out our review after the break!
Penny Road Pub may be a bar/venue located in what looks like the middle of nowhere, but the basement of this establishment is no stranger to truly talented bands and musicians. This night was March 26, 2012. Since it was March, it was a bit on the chilly side still, but the cloud cover didn’t help either. Walking down the stairs from the beer garden to the basement, you could see an abundance of people: the final number was 53 plus the bands. The basement isn’t that big, so the room seemed decently filled. The show started at 5:45 with Believe You Me (Chicago), then The American Autumn (Chicago), The Linden Method (Chicago), Zero To Hero (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Stay Golden (Chicago), The Sheds (Los Angeles, California) and closing the night was I Call Fives (New Jersey).
The Sheds are a pop-punk band from Los Angeles, California fronted by Mac Miller. No, not the rapper. Unlike I Call Fives, this is their 3rd week of the tour. The beginning of their set consisted of a Metallica song/intro. At that point, everyone in the room had his or her eyes on the stage. Playing a song that everyone knows right off the bat is a really good way to get people to pay attention to you. Well played, Sheds. My first impression of this band was: they won’t let anything they write sound bad. They love what they do and aren’t afraid to show it. Based on their set, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I was correct.
Including the Metallica intro, they played nine songs. The first full-length song they played was “Self Doubt.” About mid-set, Miller joked saying, “Sorry, we’re not pop punk like everyone else tonight.” The audience got a kick out of that. The next song they played, which happened to be my favorite of the set was “Heart.” The song after that was “Counting Sheep” and during the song, Miller insisted on the audience participating in a “Pogo pit.” The method behind having a Pogo pit, is placing your hands on your sides and jumping up and down in place; “moshing” is not allowed at Penny Road Pub. This shows that this band is very respectful to the venue and those people who work there. In their next two songs “Slash & Burn” and “Wrathbone,” there were a few minor mic problems that were easily fixed. But nothing slowed them down. Like most bands, The Sheds played a cover song. They covered “Last Resort” by Papa Roach. I’m not the hugest Papa Roach fan, but let me just say this band sure gave this song justice. They closed off their set with “Namesake.” All in all, a fantastic set. Definitely recommended band to listen to.
On to the headliner: I Call Fives. Before their set even started there were some feedback problems. Lead singer Jeff Todd promptly apologized for the piercing sound coming from the speakers. It was about 9:45 when I Call Fives took the stage. They opened with “For The Best.” The beginning of the set, maybe 2-3 songs of it, the band seemed a bit disconnected with one another. I’m assuming that was because it was the first show of tour, and they were maybe a bit nervous or even over-excited.
I noticed a few things throughout the whole set as well. One, I couldn’t help but tap my foot to the beat the entire set. All of their songs are incredibly catchy. Not the annoying “I’m on the radio, have two chords, my entire song and a ½ step key change” kind of song. However, it’s the kind of songs that will be stuck in your head forever because of the lyrics and up-beat musical components. Another thing I noticed is that they have a fantastic Merch Guy named Dalton. Typically I see a girl that looks sad and like she doesn’t want to be there or a guy who sits there on his iPhone the entire set and doesn’t even look up. Dalton was approachable, sweet and was singing along to every word in the set. The final thing I noticed was during their song “Try Hard To Remember.” Nowadays, it’s really difficult to find a band who sounds as good live as they do on their records. This band is the perfect example of one that sounds exactly the same live as recorded. It felt as if I were listening to my iPod, except, they were right there in front of me. They played “Back-Up Plan” and “2 Days” next, where they experienced more feedback problems. Which, again, was easily fixed. They closed off their set with “Coast To Coast” and “Elevator Music,” which were coincidentally my two favorite songs by them. Singer Jeff Todd gave a shout-out to all the bands that played, and the night was wrapped up. So, if you haven’t heard of this band, check them out, and I promise you that you’ll be hooked for eternity.
All in all, I’d have to say that this night justifies my statement when I say, “pop punk is my favorite genre.” Not only, because the music is just great, but I’ve never met or seen a band in this genre that wasn’t wholesome, well-rounded and legitimately talented. Be sure to check out all the bands mentioned here!
Information about the review…
Tour: I Call Fives Record Release Tour
Bands: I Call Fives and The Sheds
Reviewer: Michaela Kramer
Date: March 25, 2012
Venue: Penny Road Pub in Barrington, IL