Ones to Watch is a two year long program that seeks to promote up-and-coming musical artists from a variety of genres; this past Wednesday, on the 24th of February, the tour lived up to its name. Vinyl Theatre and Finish Ticket both delivered unforgettably passionate performances at the Foundry in Philadelphia.
The small, upstairs performance space of the Fillmore, known as The Foundry, was packed with fans eager to see the two bands. Fans dressed in t-shirts bearing the Vinyl Theatre logo screamed and reached out to give the trio high-fives as they quickly ran a soundcheck before the show. The Milwaukee natives started with an introduction song written specifically for tour, Welcome, in which they tell the audience directly, “Welcome to our show.”
The huge amount of energy buzzing from the audience matched the performance that Vinyl Theatre gave – their lead singer, Keegan Calmes, bounced through every song and kept the audience jumping.
Vinyl Theatre lost their bassist just one month ago due to health issues, but the fans were still incredibly passionate about the music, and the band delivered a strong performance in response. The crowd – especially the people in the first few rows – sang along to every word of Vinyl Theatre’s more popular songs such as Breaking Up My Bones, Shine On, and If You Say So off of their album Electrogram. The band revealed during performance that their new album will be released this summer, and previewed a new song called My Fault off of the upcoming LP.
At the very end of the performance, Calmes requested that everyone put their phones away and “live in the moment.” Everyone complied and lost themselves in the music; Calmes climbed up on one of the exposed roof beams to hover above the audience and scream along with them.
Vinyl Theatre’s co-headliner, Finish Ticket, followed up with an equal amount of energy; the 6-piece group from San Francisco had the audience engaged from their very first song, Wrong, in which they got everyone to duck down when the song got quiet, and then go crazy once the beat picked up. The band’s frontman, Brendan Hoye, kept everyone engaged throughout the whole performance – making them clap together – and pushing himself in the audience to sing with the fans. Songs like Color and Bring the Rain had everyone yelling and jumping, while Never Alone served as a mellow interlude, played simply by Hoye and his acoustic guitar as an accompaniment. The band also performed a cover of When You Were Young by the Killers to get newcomers engaged. During the encore, Finish Ticket played their song Doctor, which is off of the album Tears You Apart.
Both bands delivered incredible performances and made sure to stay after to greet fans who were eagerly waiting to take pictures and get albums signed. The two groups have a lot in common; they’ve both opened for Twenty One Pilots, but on different tours (Vinyl Theatre on the Quiet is Viølent Tour and Finish Ticket on the Blurryface Tour), and have gained a lot of fans from the clique (TØP’s fanbase.) However, during this tour they proved that they are much, much more than opening bands – they truly are forces to be reckoned with.
Vinyl Theatre’s Setlist: Welcome, If You Say So, Summer, Stay, Tokyo, Pillow Talk, Friends Have Changed, Breaking Up My Bones, My Fault, Shaking in the Dead of Night, Shine On, Rhythm of Night
Finish Ticket’s Setlist: Wrong, Lying, Scavenger, When Night Becomes Day, Numb, Catch You, Never Along, When You Were Young (Cover), Pockets, Color, Tranquilize, Bring the Rain, Doctor