Secondhand Serenade soothes a rambunctious crowd at the Boardwalk

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Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
John Vesely of Secondhand Serenade preforming his solo act on his acoustic Guitar for his audience at The Boardwalk in Orangevale, CA

Cintia Lopez,
Arcurrent

Secondhand Serenade vocalist/multi-instrumentalist John Vesely has a way of connecting with a crowd, and the intimate setting of the Boardwalk in Orangevale seemed like a second home to him. The crowd instantly began to sing along with him and he seemed thrilled to see such a warm welcome.Despite a very long wait due to sound check difficulties, Vesely managed to kick off his set with a smile on his face as he played the chords to “Vulnerable,” followed by “Maybe.” Once again, the crowd began to sing every word along with him. The third song played was a new one called “Price We Pay.” Vesely admitted, “I don’t know how to play it yet,” as he played a few notes on his keyboard and began to sing. He would often take pauses to let the crowd sing along with him for the chorus.
The fourth song was “Your Call,” which got screams from the crowd, while others sang along loudly. “Your Call” was followed by one of his older ballads, “Awake.”

Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser John Vesely of Secondhand Serenade preforming his solo act on his acoustic Guitar for his audience at The Boardwalk Orangevale, CA

Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
John Vesely of Secondhand Serenade performing his solo act singing for his audience at The Boardwalk in Orangevale, CA

Vesely later introduced another new song, titled “The Right Kind of Crazy,” and joked that he probably didn’t know how to play it yet either.
He then played the first song he ever wrote, “Broken,” and ended the song by singing the chorus of Fun.’s “We Are Young.”
Vesely took a break and called a fan onstage and asked her to call one of her friends. Sadly, the girl’s friend didn’t answer her phone. Vesely jokingly said, “Sorry, you lose,” as the girl got offstage.
He then covered Coldplay’s “Fix You,” which was followed by another cover song: Enrique Iglesias’ “Hero.” Throughout the entire song, he mocked Iglesias’ accent, which earned him laughs from the crowd.
Since the stage lacked a hallway for Vesely to leave, he asked the crowd to start asking him for an encore. After getting the crowd to shout, “Two more songs,” he introduced his single, “Shake It Off.”
The final song of the night was the much-anticipated “Fall For You.” It started with Vesely singing the first few lines of Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day,” and the chorus of “We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift, which threw off his audience momentarily. He then ended the song with the crowd singing the chorus.
Overall, the show was a very touching performance that ended on a very nice note.

Nonpoint with, Candlelight Red, and Digital Summer rocks Sacramento

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Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Elias Soriano lead singer and Front-man to Nonpoint shakes his dreadlocks while head banging on stage of the Ace of spades venue in Sacramento, CA

Lance Gawthrop, writer

Nonpoint's Adam Wolosyzn the Bass player in front, while Dave Lizzio Guitar player for the band is in the background on stage at the Ace of Spades venue in Sacramento, CA

Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Nonpoint’s Adam Wolosyzn the Bass player in front, while Dave Lizzio Guitar player for the band is in the background on stage at the Ace of Spades venue in Sacramento, CA

Febuary 5, 2013
Shiftsync Media

Elias Soriano lead singer and Front-man to Nonpoint on stage of the Ace of spades venue in Sacramento, Ca

Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Elias Soriano lead singer and Front-man to Nonpoint on stage of the Ace of spades venue in
Sacramento, Ca

Nonpoint – straight to the point – Nonpoint has nonstop energy that resembles P.O.D.’s way of screaming and distorted guitar riffs with every head swaying – even grannies heads can be found rocking back and forth –  at Ace of Spades in Sacramento.

The jam “Wake up the World” was kicking out with Elias Soriano on a platform growling lyrics from behind lengthy dreads.  After Nonpoint blasted the track they could have walked off stage at that moment and called it a night, but Nonpoint’s front man Soriano, original drummer Robb Rivera, three new guitarists – Dave Lizzio and Rasheed on leads, and Adam Wolosyzen slapping the bass, wasn’t playing a one hit wonder leaving a bad taste in the back of a dry throat with dry rot.  Instead, the newly developed group revealed that their band has great chemistry.

Soriano was able to bounce from the front of the stage to the side of the stage; while bellowing his god given grunts without ramming into Thomas or Lizzio.  Wolosyzen was slamming bass chords in his own little bass land world without bumping into his mates either, and Rivera’s drumming is heaven sent for percussion heads.

Right before Nonpoint performed “That Day”, Soriano sang a break from Tupac’s “California Love” letting the audience know California knows how to party.  Then, the remake with nearly 4 million views on YouTube, “Air Tonight”, was recognized by the crowd, but not nearly as identifiable as “Bullet with a Name on It”.  The band was able to stop playing all of their instruments simultaneously as the mass sang the rest of the lyrics – totally awesome.
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Fallrise brings one of the biggest local shows to Ace Of Spades

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Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser

Bryce Fraser, writer

January 26, 2013
Shiftsyncmedia

Fallrise took the stage at Ace of Spades Saturday night on January 27th, and brought one of the biggest and best local shows to hit the stage of the venue.  Opening bands included Madison Avenue, Misamore, White Minorities, Prylosis, and Dimidium.
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Motion City Soundtrack induces super-dense state on Ace of Spades

Alisha Kirby, Arcurrent

Photo Credit: Ashley King
Right to Left: Joshua Cain – guitar/backing vocals, Jesse Johnson – moog synth/keyboard, Justin Pierre – vocals/guitar, Matthew Taylor – bass/backing vocals

November 8, 2012
Arcurrent

Ace of Spades was overrun by indie rock Tuesday as Motion City Soundtrack, Jukebox The Ghost and Now, Now took the stage and filled the local venue with enough energy to fill a few hundred cans of Red Bull.

Now, Now kicked things off with a couple of songs off of their new record “Threads,” including “Lucie Too,” “Wolf” and “Separate Rooms.” As they transitioned into older songs in their catalogue it became apparent how much they’ve grown as musicians. While the band got stronger reactions from the crowd with songs from their older albums, “Neighbors” and “Cars,” the complexity and energy of new tracks like “Prehistoric” made their set that much more exciting.

I hadn’t heard of Jukebox The Ghost before the show but their keyboardist’s intricate playing, theatric showmanship and expansive vocal range quickly made a fan of me. Even the band’s drummer made sure the audience took notice. Throughout the set he shifted between a handful of different shakers, maracas and bells, sometimes using them in place of a drumstick to catch his ride hits. All the while the guitarist wove in and out of the sticks and shakers raining down around him, continuing to hit every note. Their upbeat brand of piano-pop was a highlight of the bill.

Not to be outdone, Motion City Soundtrack came out immediately playing the fan favorite “Attractive Today” and a few other tracks from their album “Commit This To Memory.” In fact, the band used their time to not only promote songs from “Go,” their most recent album, but to rile up the crowd with the biggest songs from all of their records. They drew entire crowd sing-alongs out of songs like “The Future Freaks Me Out,” “A Life Less Ordinary (Need a Little Help),” and “Everything Is Alright.”

There were a few microphone malfunctions throughout the night during both Now, Now and Jukebox The Ghost’s sets, but those issues were quickly resolved and hardly noticeable. With only three bands on the bill each one got to play longer sets, lending to one great outcome: more time listening to music with less waiting around for everyone to set up and break down the stage. O

Lumineers embrace Harlow’s with folk revival tunes and dapper demeanors

Ashley King, Arcurrent

Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Wesley Schultz Lead vocals and guitarist, of Lumineers during there performance at Harlows in Sacramento, CA 

October 22, 2012

When summer seems so far away and the cozy thought of sweaters in winter is distant, The Lumineers swooped in and saved us with their loving musical embrace for two nights at Harlow’s in Sacramento on Oct. 9 and 10. For the night, we were all transported to a country barn with good friends and beautiful earnest music made out of feelings.

The Lumineers are one of the growing bands in the “roots revival” movement giving music listeners a refreshing change. The style is smartly written, inviting, simple musical genius. Like their brothers in genre Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, their music is made for clapping, stomping and singing.

The band poured out the spaces behind varying instruments and filled the stage. They arrived dressed modestly in simple clothes and they would look just fine traveling via horse and buggy. They did, however, break the cardinal rule: there were not one, but two fedoras in the group. Like the gentlemen they were, though, they removed them frequently when speaking with heavy sentiments and covered their hearts.
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The Wombats woo Midtown Sacramento with British beats and smooth sounds

Ashley King, Arcurrent

Photo Credit: Bryce Fraser
Matthew Muphy lead singer and guitarist, and tord Øverland Knudsen, Bass guitar, of the Wombats who preformed at the The Blue Lamp, in Sacramento, Ca on October 3.

October 10, 2012

If The Killers, Kooks and Beach Boys had too much sangria, they might wind up nine months later with a mystery love child named the Wombats.  On Oct. 4, The Wombats brought their brothers from across the pond, Morning Parade, and sold out Blue Lamp in Midtown Sacramento.

When the Liverpool trio took the stage, every hand went up to clap eerily in beat. Even the baby boomers with their Bloody Marys in hand stood up. It was much like stepping into church and not knowing any of the hymns, but being moved by the energy in the room. From the moment lead vocalist Matthew Murphy opened his mouth, the audience was enraptured, swaying and singing every word.

The show was a comfortable reflection of their studio work. Their vocals were on point despite being thrown against the awkward acoustics of the venue. Their songs didn’t pull at any heartstrings. Instead they inspired a, “who cares? Let’s just dance” type of energy. Beach-y background vocals included such inspiring lyrics as “ooh” and “wah” They were perfect tunes for solo dancing or reading a book at the ocean.
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