The Spring AP Tour in Toronto, the only date on the tour that was not sold out due to a venue change from the medium sized The Phoenix Concert Theatre to the larger Kool Haus. This year’s AP Tour features the Never Shout Never headlining, pop rock act The Cab, a female fronted quintet Hey Monday, Michigan’s Every Avenue and newcomers The Summer Set.
The Summer Set
Arizona’s The Summer Set makes catchy powerpop tunes that guarantees a danceable and good time. When the band came on stage, they were welcomed by fans’ flashing lights from their cameras. The band opened with “Punch Drunk Love”, an energetic song about being very infatuated with a girl. Most of their songs are about being young, enjoying life, being in love and having fun such as “Girls Freak Me Out” and “Chelsea”. During “Young”, Alex DeLeon, the lead singer from The Cab joined in and earned screams and cheers from fans. The Summer Set covered Taylor Swift’s radio hit “You Belong With Me” that made a perfect 3 minutes for a huge crowd sing along and a great attention grabber.
The next act was pop punk band Every Avenue and from my past experience seeing them at Take Action 09, they are a great live band. Perhaps there were some technical difficulties with lead singer Dave Strauchman’s mic, the performance was not as great as expected. The band kicked off their 30 mins set with title track “Picture Perfect” from the new sophomore album. Dave brought out an acoustic guitar and played “Girl Like That” with the full band. Other songs played were “Mindset”, “Tell Me I’m A Wreck”, “Think Of You Later (Empty Room) and “Where Were You?” At the end of their set, Dave made some close contact with fans by singing against the barricade.
Here’s a fun fact about the next band Hey Monday: exactly a year ago, they also performed in Toronto opening for Fall Out Boy. Over the past year, they had their own headlining tour and recorded a sophomore album that is due early summer. Hey Monday was determined to make the entire room jumping with poppy songs like “Run, Don’t Walk”, “Obvious” and “Josey”. Lead singer Cassadee Pope spent a few moments sharing her inspiration behind the post-breakup song “Candles” (a douchebag boyfriend Pope dumped in senior year) The band admitted they haven’t really practiced the any new songs yet so they played a Goo Goo Dolls song “Slide” instead.
Coming next was pop rock band The Cab, after the departure of two original members, the band is left with three Alex-es (Alex DeLeon on vocals, Alex Marshall on keys, Alex Johnson on drums) with two touring members Joey Thunder and Charles Henry. For a band that is inspired by pop icons like Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson, they stand out from the crowded so-called scene with their upbeat, danceable music. Alex DeLeon paraded the stage confidently with such an overwhelming stage presence, delivering his solid vocals. In the middle of the set, the band played a new song from their upcoming sophomore release entitled “Locked Up”, it sounded like a The Cab song, so old fans have nothing to worry about the band “selling out” whatsoever. I personally enjoyed the performance of “Vegas Skies”, a slow song talking about the band’s hometown Las Vegas. It was a magnetic performance with DeLeon singing with such passion, Marshall killing it with the keys and Johnson playing it soft at the drums.
Headlining the tour was the 19 year old Christofer Drew, aka Never Shout Never (or NeverShoutNever!, I’m not sure what Drew calls himself these days) that charmed over many pre-teens (that’s it, if they are not all over Justin Bieber). In fact, most of the audience were there to see NSN. With an indie/hippie attitude, Drew captures the attention of many with his declaration of “Love Is Our Weapon” in this day and age when it’s not the most important. The stage had an altered American flag with the peace sign, three brown fuzzy carpets laid across on stage left, right and center. Facing the crowd of teenagers in a fuzzy hat with ears, Drew launched into his bubbly songs from the first full-length “What Is Love?” and old songs like “Trouble” and “bigcitydreams” with the acoustic guitar and ukulele. I have heard some bad things about Drew and his live performance, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show. It was rather interesting and I found myself impressed at his liveliness and magic over the audience. However, it still does not make sense to me why he was headlining instead of an experienced act like The Cab.
Text and photos by Jessie Lau
Translated by Jaime Chu