Day one of the HFSmas Nutcracker commenced Monday night at Rams Head Live in Baltimore. The annual holiday concert is a four night alternative rock stocking stuffer. On day one The Colourist, Hellogoodbye and Panic! At The Disco took the stage. A dollar from every ticket sold goes towards The Maryland Food Bank.
The Colourist opened things up; 2013 saw them land their first extensive touring schedule. It included appearances at Coachella, along with support shows with Metric, Youngblood Hawke and Atlas Genius. They have a nice sound; their single “Little Games” has terrific energy! Their an interesting follow. The Colourist and Panic! At The Disco are no strangers on tour. The HFSmas Nutcracker was a stop as part of their 2014 Winter Tour. You can catch them again locally, January 28th at The Fillmore in Silver Spring.
You wouldn’t know it from listening to their album “Would It Kill You?” but Hellogoodbye includes a lot of electronic elements into their live shows. As enthusiastically as they play, at the tempo they perform, you might even consider Hellogoodbye live EDM. They did a cover of Daft Punk’s “Digital Love” that sounded phenomenal! There are rumors Daft Punk is headlining Ultra Fest in Miami this March but there’s always a rumors Daft Punk is headlining Ultra Fest. Hellogoodbye is a great act; their sound has a lot of variety.
There was a cohesion of sound amongst tonight’s musicians. With Panic! At The Disco; vocally Brendon Urie added an operatic twist. A lot of people consider Panic! At The Disco’s style baroque or vaudevillian, I believe Brendon’s voice has a lot to do with this. Brendon’s vocal range has falsetto type qualities; it goes beyond normal frequency! He can hit those high notes! It’s like listening to classical arias set to the tune of rock. Brendon recently performed at The Kennedy Center Honors Gala ceremony, it can be seen on CBS December 29th at 9pm.
The fact that classical elements can be found in rock is nothing new and no big surprise. The band Queen and Freddie Mercury mastered this technique in the seventies. It’s the type of rock “alternative” that makes Panic! At The Disco unique. Alternative rock is audacious! When you couple that with crescendos that peak vocally; it makes for an experience! Not that it hasn’t been done before but I believe it’s one of the key elements to producing good rock n roll. They did a three piece cover that opened with “Any Way You Want It” by Journey. It was dead on! Brendon sounded just like Arnel Pineda! I always thought Journey sounded operatic, Arnel Pineda definitely has falsetto type qualities. Journey and Steve Miller Band are headlining at Jiffy Lube live June 1st in Bristow, Virginia.
Panic! At The Disco played a few songs off their latest album “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!” This is a awesome title! It stems from a line in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” a novel turned movie by Hunter S. Thompson. The album sounds really good; I’d describe it as exciting drama.
The HFSmas Nutcracker was a nutcracking good time! All three bands sounded terrific! A great start of festivities! You can catch the rest of the shows Dec 12th, 16th and 19th but hurry tickets are selling quick!