HOUSTON, June 1, 2012 - On Wednesday, May 23, Stellar Revival opened for Theory of a Deadman and Pop Evil at House of Blues in Houston, Texas. While it’s traditional to review the headlining act on a ticket, an exception must be made for EMI Capital Records‘ new Florida based juggernaut of a rock band. Lead singer Rino Cerbone brought more energy to the stage than Houston had seen since Bono graced Reliant Stadium for U2’s 360° tour.
But Cerbone wasn’t alone in his crowd-captivating antics. Lead guitarist Steve Morgan provided plenty of pizazz, not to mention some impressive shredding on a par with Alter Bridge. Rhythm guitarist Ryan Spears and bassist Daniel Uricoli were all over the stage, as drummer Andrew Koussevitzky delivered a top-notch performance loaded with driving, catchy beats. In fact, the concert was so well produced and delivered that the fledgling alternative rock band came off like they’d been touring for years.
Usually when one arrives at a show and sits through the opening acts, one isn’t familiar enough with the music to really get into the concert. Not so with Stellar Revival. While the songs were heavy and never before heard by most of the audience, the crowd pulsated to the beats and screamed wildly at the close of each. In fact, while “The Crazy Ones” is considered their hit single, one couldn’t help but feel that any number on the set list was worthy of a music video, radio airplay, and a spot on a Billboard chart.
If one were going to compare Stellar Revival to a mainstream act, some bands that might leap to mind would be Audio Slave, Creed, Soundgarden (the latter of which was featured in the soundtrack for the new Avengers movie), with all the catchiness of SoilWork’s “Figure Number Five” album. Yet despite their heavier elements, the band has an inexplicable pop dynamic that summons up legends like Aerosmith and U2, plus groups like 3 Doors Down and Foo Fighters.
Produced by Brian Howes (known for his work with bands like Hinder, Daughtry, and Nickelback), Stellar Revival’s debut album, “Love, Lust, and Bad Company,” is slated for release in just a few months. Steve Jobs once said, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes …” Hence the inspiration for Stellar Revival’s debut hit single, “The Crazy Ones,” which you can hear in the embedded YouTube music video player below.
The House of Blues venue is nothing short of astonishing and must boast one of the best sound systems and sound men in the local music business. Usually in mid-level clubs the music is so loud the sound becomes distorted. While the vibrations in our rib cages were palpable during this performance, every note and lyric was crystal clear, making this one of the most enjoyable concerts this author has attended in a good while. Possibly the classiest venue in Houston (with the possible exception of a few elite jazz clubs and classical symphony halls) the House of Blues has an old fashioned upscale bar type of vibe. Hosting up to 1,500 people and yet maintaining the feel of a small, intimate clubhouse, the first story of the concert hall features a full bar and restaurant, while the second features opera house style theater seating.
Stellar Revival was followed on stage by Pop Evil, who, should they ever decide to re-name their band, might consider calling themselves The Expectorators. Lead singer Leigh Kakaty can spit a good five feet above his head, and other members of the group were almost as skilled. They put on an electrifying show that included “hand walking,” during which Kakaty balanced on the up-stretched hands of a very enthusiastic, pumped up crowd.
Then of course, Theory of a Dead Man took the stage, packing the venue to the max and inciting a wild party that continued its celebration well into the night. Meanwhile, this writer got to hang out with Steve Morgan, the very friendly and candid lead guitarist for Stellar Revival, and hear the wild and impressive story behind the band’s founding and their current rocketing trajectory towards super stardom. A full interview is pending via SeeTalkGrow: The New Entertainment Industry. Please subscribe to the column via RSS and the www.SeeTalkGrow.com email newsletter, where we will shortly announce how you can watch and participate in Stellar Revival’s live online interview.
Stellar Revival “The Crazy Ones” Music Video:
Stellar Revival Links:
Author’s Note: A sincere thank you to the friendly employees at Houston’s House Of Blues who gave a seven month pregnant journalist the only free seat in the house, and right up front! Without you this review would have not been possible.
About the Author, Jennifer Grassman:
Singer, songwriter and pianist, Jennifer Grassman is an award-winning recording artist and founder of SeeTalkGrow, a 100% online music, film, technology, and communications conference. Subscribe by RSS feed and read more at www.JenniferGrassman.com or www.SeeTalkGrow.com. Follow Jennifer in this column and at her music column, The Business of Being Diva here inWashington Times Communities. Also keep in touch via @JGrassman, @SeeTalkGrow, and like Facebook.com/JenniferGrassmanMusic and Facebook.com/SeeTalkGrow.
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