Saving Abel rocks Pearl Street

By Tyler Manoukian

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 Last week, the Pearl Street Ballroom was electrified by the efforts of Saving Abel and  several local indie bands, including One Theory, Hope Lies Within and Jacob’s Son. The building was shaking from the intensity of the show.

The show opened up with Jacob’s Son of Astoria, N.Y. Two of the band members did not show up, so only Mike and Greg Bean performed. The duo played with a heavy acoustic style.

Jacob’s Son really represented what the audience expected – a slow, methodic tonality. “Every Time the River Winds,” a slower song, was something to get behind with its acoustic rhythm. The duo really stretched the chord, with long notes and rhythmic lyrics. The lead singer’s used his voice to the fullest at this show, sounding like something between Scott Stapp and Audioslave.

“Lingerie” is one of the group’s most popular songs, which has found some success on local rock station Lazer 99.3 FM. The guitar “revved” up this track, which led into a rousing chorus. Jacob’s Son put on a great performance even though only two members showed up.

The next act was Hope Lies Within. The quartet has a website where fans can download some free music, The band played some brand new songs titled “Cry for the Weary” and “Solar.” The lead vocalist had a nice voice, reminiscent of Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong.

Unfortunately, Hope Lies Within is not a very good live band. Their music was disproportionately loud compared to the vocals, which made it extremely hard to understand.

The bassist looked like one of the Wild Samoans of WWE fame. His long hair seemed to get in the way the entire time, as he did more hair flipping than actual bass playing. It got to the point where he was knocking over amplifiers and screaming unnecessarily into the microphone. His screamer voice was average, but didn’t fit into the songs they played.

One of the biggest pluses of the night was Hope Lies Within’s drummer, Steven Padla. He is a terrific drummer, and has a significant fan base that comes out to support him. Those fans included his mom, who came up to me in the front row, snapped a picture and screamed, “That’s my son!” Nothing like a little family support for the talented drummer, right?

The song, “Too Close to the Sun” was an excellent tune. The drumming in that song was the best of the night, especially paired with the vocals.

 Next up was the second-best known act on the evening, One Theory. The band really delivered with their screamer songs and soft punk. They definitely have some Drowning Pool influence in their musical handbag. While they were also very loud, the lyrics were understandable and the crowd really got into them. The band had high energy, the lead singer moved through the audience and the rest of the band broke out some pretty nifty dance moves that sent the girls in the front row into a swoon.

The lead singer performed vocal acrobatics. He was very clearly into the music and very passionate, even dedicating one of his songs to his young daughter. His voice easily transitioned from soft and quick to screams, just as advertised. The drummer of One Theory was also very good, however, he did not stack up against Hope Lies Within’s drummer. Still, he was better than expected from an indie-level band.

The headliner, and easily the best band at the show, was Saving Abel. The audience, who had been quiet for the most part, got fired up when the band took the stage..

 From the time One Theory disassembled their equipment to the moment Saving Abel struck their first chord, the crowd went wild. Girls were screaming and guys were cheering. The atmosphere Saving Abel created instantly carried them through the show. The audience was into it the entire time and the concert hall was packed. Some fans were even trying to bulldoze their way to the front row.

Their set list was nothing short of spectacular, featuring popular songs from both the “Saving Abel” and “Miss America” albums. Some favorites included “Bloody Sunday,” “New Tattoo,” “Stupid Girl” and “Sex is Good.” The band sounded great in the live setting. The raucous guitar and thumping bass got the crowd pumped up.

As for some old time music, the popular song, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival got the crowd singing and clapping along. Jared Weeks, lead singer, played with the crowd, getting them to sing the chorus ecstatically. Their cover of the song was admirable, though it did not compare to CCR’s.

“Miss America,” a new song off their latest album, “Is about showing support for the men and women who fight for our country every day,” said Weeks.

“The song was written in support of the troops, not some f***ing beauty pageant,” he also said.

The crowd was all riled up by now and was head-over-heels into the music. For the encore, Saving Abel played “18 Days” and the 2008 radio hit, “Addicted.” The latter song was also sang collectively by the band and the crowd, in order to show support for the troops who fight for this country.

“Addicted,” the ever-popular smash hit, is one long sexual innuendo. The crow went absolutely nuts at this point, threatening to tear down the roof with their energy.. The band performed an amazing rendition of the song, which was also the last of the evening. It surely sent the crowd home happy.Saving Abel stuck around afterwards for autographs and pictures. Overall, it was a great, crowd-pleasing performance.  It truly was a rock and roll atmosphere that had everyone on his or her feet. Each band was impressive in its own, unique way, which provided some musical variety. If you did not see this show, then you definitely missed some awesome music with some excellent bands.

Tyler Manoukian can be reached at [email protected]