Live Review: Cold Fronts with Heyrocco at Black Cat Backstage, Washington DC – 5th November 2015

By on Monday, 9th November 2015 at 2:00 pm

It’s always great to get validation from the Real World that a band you saw promise in early on has done well. Take, for example, the headliner last Thursday night at Black Cat Backstage, Cold Fronts. I saw them open for Chicagoans Empires a year ago at DC9, where I thought they were more energetic and made more of a lasting impression than their tour mates.

Fast forward 12 months, and the group from Philadelphia have just released their debut album ‘Forever Whatever’ on Sire Records in the States, a few years after Warner Brothers VP Seymour Stein stumbled upon them at SXSW. (Not to mention my suggestion in my DC9 review of them that they should tour with The Cribs actually came true when the Jarman brothers played three sold out shows in New York back in March.) True to their personality as exhibited the first time I saw them in DC and then during their first visit to Brighton this year for the Great Escape 2015, their debut is a free-wheeling, fun record guaranteed to get you out of your cold weather blues.

Heyrocco Washington live

We missed the first support act, Nashville’s Chrome Pony, instead beginning our night of music with South Carolinan band Heyrocco (yes, their name is all one word and against my good editor sense). Frontman Nathan donned a hot dog costume to take the stage: the conversation starter to end all conversation starters turned out to be a gift from a Halloween reveler at a show during the previous Halloween weekend. The cool thing about Heyrocco’s set was that as it went on, I couldn’t have predicted how it would end. ‘Teenage Movie Soundtrack’ is the name of their debut album out now, described on a press release as “a perfect marriage of grungy angst and bubblegum pop”. They were a great fit to open for Cold Fronts, as both bands have a similar “c’mon on guys, let’s have fun at all costs!” kind of attitude, and they’ve got a poppy edge to their otherwise lo-fi guitar rock (I would think you would have to, with a song titled ‘Mom Jeans’).

Well, at least some of it anyway. They ended with a loud, jammy hard rock number that really required some headbanging and well, it would have been rude not to, am I right? Having my interest sufficiently piqued and now having listened to the whole album on their Bandcamp, the more intriguing of their tunes to me are those that seem to be channelling Bush, Nirvana and ’90s grunge like single ‘Jake Miller’s House Party’. For those of us who lived through grunge and for those of you who might not have, there’s plenty to like about this band.

Now that the crowd were sufficiently warmed up, Cold Fronts hit the stage in fine form. Despite having been on the road for a while by then and having just come from North Carolina during what frontman Craig Almquist joked was a horrible drive up motorway I-95, they were clearly excited about the recent release of their debut album and getting to play songs from it to their Washington fans. Instead of playing the entirety of the debut – even skipping what I considered their best track at DC9 last year, which turned out to be a crowd toe-tapper in Brighton, too, ‘Hit Me’ – Cold Fronts had the confidence to stick in a few new ones in their set including ‘Number One’, with Almquist saying how eager they were to get back into the studio to lay down more tracks.

Cold Fronts Washington 2015 live

Still, there was plenty to love in their set, no matter at what point in their history you’d become a fan of the band. The charismatic Almquist was stoked to perform ‘Heart Attack’, which he explained was the first song they’d ever written, appearing on their first EP ‘Pretty American’, released in 2012, and the folks down the front obviously knew the tune, shouting and raising their fists in approval. The melodic ‘Catch’ from the new LP, with its emphatic “ah ah ah ahs”, was another stunning crowd pleaser. They ended their set with ‘Energy Waster’: fast-paced with its adept guitars, it reinforced the nice balance Cold Fronts strikes between likeable pop and true rock talent. Nice one, guys.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy

Keep TGTF online for years to come!
Donate here.