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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘What Happens in Vegas’ in Tucson for one rocking night

    Alex DeLeon, singer of The Cab, performs at Club Congress June 18 as part of the What Happens in Vegas tour.
    Alex DeLeon, singer of The Cab, performs at Club Congress June 18 as part of the “”What Happens in Vegas”” tour.

    Five bands came to show Tucson “”What Happens in Vegas.”” Overall the Thursday night show at Club Congress had a very tight lineup. All the bands were tied together because they each had a unique sound yet all utilized soulful runs in their vocals. It was the first night of the tour featuring Anarbor, Eye Alaska, The Summer Set, The Secret Handshake, and The Cab.

    The day was hot and people were lined up over an hour before the show started. The smell of sweat and cigarette smoke permeated the air. Everyone was chit chatting while waiting outside and hearing the bands inside warm up.

    Anarbor went first. They were great live, even better than their CD. Each member of this Phoenix band had uniformly long hair, perfect for the opportune head banging. Lead singer Slade opened the show with his hearty voice conjuring up blues with some soul thrown in. They warmed the crowd up with eight songs and in return received some full body rocking and head bobbing from the audience.

    After Anarbor cleared the stage, it was Eye Alaska’s turn. These guys weren’t so great. Lead singer Brandon Wronski came on stage, apple in hand, looking surprised as if “”why am I standing dead center in front of all these people?”” with his apparently awesome backpack, completely empty and serving no purpose. He waited for people to cheer, but didn’t quite get the reaction he was expecting. (Arrogance can really kill a band.) The only thing they really had going for them was their cute guitar player. They definitely got some blank stares and enthusiasm from the crowd with their whiny and screechy sound. Eye Alaska kept plugging their new album; not many people seemed to care. The last song of the set sounded like they stole it right from a Dashboard Confessional song.

    Next to the stage was The Summer Set. These Phoenicians were the first to get the audience jumping. The band was an all-male group with the exception of the female drummer Jessica Bowen. It was nice to see a girl in an untraditional role for a band. Lead singer Brian Dales had an all-American look about him and surprisingly didn’t have long locks like every other boy band. The fact that their music actually engaged the audience further than the last two bands was a testament to their talent as performers. The Summer Set’s cover of Usher’s “”I Wanna Make Love in This Club”” was superior to that of the original; while it sounded somewhat similar, it rocked the song in a new perspective from beginning to end.

    Second to last was The Secret Handshake. As they set up the larger-than-life sized letters T, S, and H one could only hope they would serve a purpose aside from looking big. They did. Apparently they were there to blind the audience with their annoying flashes, which only distracted from TSH’s energetic set. The three-man band started to play after much of the crowd had cleared out of the small but packed room. This gave people a chance to get closer to the stage while making the sauna-like air more bearable. Their modified sound, compliments of the microphone and their electronic beat, got the audience moving. It proved to be decent dance music.

    The headliner The Cab finally appeared. As the intro song began and the band slowly filtered onstage, the screams from fans filled the room. This band with the simple name took the stage with authority. Instead of playing seven songs like the others, The Cab kept on playing until they hit number 13. The group brought the most life to the crowd as Alex DeLeon, their lead singer, circled the stage to get the crowd to be involved in their music.

    The band’s lineup was different from their previous concerts. This was a night of initiation for the band as they welcomed their new member Bryan Dawson, taking the place of Ian Crawford. He seemed timid and new at this, but his great skills shined brightly during each of his guitar solos. Throughout the performance Bryan constantly received pats on the back from DeLeon, checking in on him making sure he was OK. He fit right in up on stage.

    They made it a point of playing their lesser-known songs. They also threw a song from their recently released EP into the mix, yet it seemed to flop due to little audience reaction, possibly because of its lack of popularity. The Cab closed the show with “”Bounce,”” DeLeon’s favorite song to perform live and the crowd really got into it, turning the club into a giant dance party.

    After the show, fans could find all of their bands at their respective merch tables waiting to meet them and pose for the occasional picture. As the crowd cleared out of the Club Congress, it was easy to see the anticipation of the bands as they loaded up their vans and headed to the next city, bringing with them the same excitement they brought to Tucson.

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