When Crash Kings released their self-titled album back in 2009, they quickly became one of my favorite LA bands. Their unique sound and set-up made them stand out and catchy singles like “Mountain Man” and “You Got Me” helped propel them to mainstream success and the band started touring across the country and making a name for themselves. Then, somehow, they started drifting off the radar. Now, it has been some time, but the band is
back with both a fantastic new album (Dark of the Daylight) and renewed sense of purpose. Crash Kings stormed through a rockin’ set Wednesday night at The Troubadour, introducing their new tunes and playing old favorites to a delighted audience. Seeing the band again reminded me of how much I love them and their music, and I came up with a list of Top 7 Reasons I’m Glad Crash Kings Are Back…
Who needs a guitar (Crash Kings don’t have one) when you have this key-based
instrument? One of the hallmarks of a Crash Kings tune, the clavinet allows the band to take that guitar sound to a new level and it’s not something I’ve seen anyone else attempt. For this new album and tour, singer Tony Beliveau has expanded the number of keys onstage, surrounding himself by a piano, a clavinet, a standard keyboard, and another “noise” board that also seems to be run by keys. The Clavinet, however, will always be the one to mesmerize and draw whispers from the crowd.
I have a new CD
for my car
might be surprised by what they hear from Dark of Daylight as it’s a slight departure from the band’s debut. The new songs rock a little harder and have a bit more texture, bringing in new, more synthetic sounds and more complex production. However, at the end of the day, Crash Kings are a rock band and in the show, the transition between old and new
tunes is seamless. The first single off the album, “Hot Fire”, is an instant classic, elevating the audience to maximum levels of enthusiasm. My other new favorite, “Open Door” is a
sway-inducing piano heavy sing-along. The whole album is one that can be listened to on repeat, each song offering something exciting and unique. Seriously, it’s about time I found a new car-worthy CD!
3. Mike Beliveau renews faith in the bass guitar
Crash Kings bassist, Mike Beliveau, is a remarkable example of how a bass can really be used to augment a song beyond the standard, keeping a back line. This guy makes bass-solos exciting! Last night, he took out a slide and used it on his instrument to get this sound that made me feel like there was a violin (or maybe cello) in the room. Plus, with singer Tony in a bit of a keyboard cage, Mike is left to fill the stage and he does, proving that a bassist doesn’t have to be relegated to a corner bobbing their heads.
4. More Piano Rock!
Piano rock might be my favorite of all genres. There is not enough exciting, solid rock music coming out these days, let along compelling tunes from this sub-genre. Crash Kings are masters at infusing my favorite instrument into a solid rock song. It’s the kind of music that makes the heart swell AND the head bob.
“Old new” music finally
There are a
couple songs on the album that I’ve heard before but have basically forgotten because they were never recorded and released. The band started playing “All Along” and I nearly squealed with the pleasure of re-visiting this song I hadn’t heard in years. That part of the song when the instruments pause and Tony’s voice breaks into the chorus…well, I’d forgotten what a breath-taking moment that was. I also had faint memories of a song that ended up being called “White Wolf” that is the perfect combination of beauty and drama and will just take you places.
“14 Arms” live
As a huge
fan of Crash Kings’ first album, it is an extreme pleasure to hear these songs once again performed on the stage. At The Troubadour we got the hit singles as well as songs like “1985” “It’s Only Wednesday” (fitting for the day), “Saving Grace” and “14 Arms” which happens to be the first Crash Kings song I ever heard and hence my “gateway” into Crash Kings fandom.
Crash Kings fans
are amazing people
surprised by the number of people I knew who came out for the show. Talking with one of my friends, she said something about their being a number of awesome people she’s met because of Crash Kings. Looking around the room during the show, I couldn’t have imagined a better crowd; enthusiastic w/o being pushy, friendly w/o being drunk, and the kind of people who simply love good music. If you make it out to a Crash Kings show, do yourself a favor and introduce yourself to the people standing next to you. Instant friend.
Speaking of the tour, here are the dates. Be sure to get our early or stay late for the equally awesome Nico Vega!
July 11 — San Diego, Calif. — The Griffin
July 12 — LasVegas, Nev. — Hard Rock Café – Vegas Strip
July 13 — Salt Lake City, Utah — Bar Deluxe
July 14 — Denver, Col. — Bluebird Theater
July 16 — Kansas City, Ks. — Riot Room
July 18 — Dallas, Texas — The Door
July 19 — Austin, Texas — Stubb’s Jr.
July 20 — Houston, Texas — The Studio @ Warehouse Live
July 22 — Orlando, Fla. — The Social
July 23 — Jacksonville, Fla. — Jack Rabbits
July 25 — Atlanta, Ga. — Vinyl
July 26 — Columbia, S.C. — New Brookland Tavern
July 28 — Baltimore, Md. — Ram’s Head Live
July 31 — New York, N.Y. — Bowery Ballroom
Aug. 1 — West Chester, Penn. — The Note
Aug. 2 — Columbus, Ohio — The Basement
Aug. 5 — Nashville, TN — Exit/In
Aug. 6 — St. Louis, Mo. — Old Rock House
Aug. 8 — Chicago, Ill. — Abbey Pub
Aug. 10 —Cleveland, Ohio — Wendy Park
Aug. 11 — Pittsburgh, Penn. — Altar Bar
Aug. 13 — Syracuse, N.Y. — Westcott Theatre
Aug. 14 — Poughkeepsie, N.Y. — The Loft
Aug 16 — Cambridge, MA — The Sinclair