Never Shout Never w/ Metro Station, Jule Vera, and Waterparks
Showbox, Seattle, WA
Cats that shoot rainbows out of their third eye are few and far between, but that’s just the kind of music people came out to see Never Shout Never for. Their brand of off-kilter contemporary pop sways from pure bubblegum to electronic emo, and has earned them a devoted fan base. The hit the stage of The Showbox in support of their sixth album Black Cat, joined on the roster by Metro Station, Jule Vera, and Waterparks.
Opening the set was Waterparks – a youthful Houston trio – whose pop-punk vibe got the crowd excited, but even the band had to ask how many had even heard of them. Jule Vera, a newish Alabama alt-rock band, delivered a genre-defying set, their tracks ranging from hard folk-rock to pop-punk to ballad, all seeming to please. They put on a pretty good show, bringing drums to the front for some impressive beat breaks.
Hollywood’s recently reunited scene-pop band Metro Station took third slot with bright lights, logo banners and enough party-rock to blow the night out of the water. Trace Cyrus’s banter about legal weed, ladies, and the crowd being too young to buy them shots makes him come off like a bit of a prick, and the constant dropping of f-bombs may have taken it just a bit too far for the parent-and-under-21 crowd. But you have to hand it to the band for knowing their audience and what will have them enthused. There was a nice balance of new tracks off their 2015 album Savior along with older favorites like “Kelsey” and “Seventeen Forever.” After demanding that everyone put their phones away and dance, they closed the set with party anthem “Shake It” which everyone did.
During set up for Never Shout Never, someone on the band’s team comes out wearing that giant rainbow-spewing cat head and the crowd gets loud. And when the band takes the stage, they’re just as appreciative. Though after the Metro Station train has blown through, the calm after the storm seems to have set in and the crowd and band settle into a groove that is surprisingly chill. Lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Cristofer Drew has stepped out in stocking feet, bundled in layers to stay warm, acoustic guitar, ukulele, kazoo in tow. He kicks off the show with a few harmonica chords and “Piggy Bank” which is kind of twangy, a bit southern-rock. They’ve got a piano on hand, and its tinkling keys add an extra bit of flair to the show.
Four early tracks start off the set before the band segues into new material with “Black Cat.” In fact, the set only includes one other new song, the crowd-pleasing “Red Balloon.” There are two notable covers in the set, The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” and John Lennon’s “Imagine” which capture the range of influences that Drew & Co. are working under. The band seems to operate in their own little universe, lolling from one track to the next, with goofy chatter and a nonchalant attitude, which can be refreshing but also slightly disappointing if you were expecting some of their more enthusiastic emo-pop.
If you want to check out the show, catch Never Shout Never on tour here.
Never Shout Never Set List
On The Brightside
Seven Nation Army (White Stripes cover)
Coffee & Cigarettes
Imagine (John Lennon cover)
I Love You More Than
Lost At Sea
Review by Stephanie Dore
Photos by Bryce Cato
Never Shout Never