Last night, Saturday, November 16, five local bands sold out the Vanguard in Tulsa. The bands gathered to celebrate the release of Cliffdiver’s second EP, At Your Own Risk, and found themselves playing to a packed room with 400+ people.
The night started with Hazelwave. For the band’s first performance, it was fairly impressive. With their enthusiastic sound and booming instruments, Hazelwave instilled excitement into those already on the floor and entertained those still in line, waiting for will-call tickets.
Second was Rose Gold. Known for their melodic tracks and screamed poetry, the band put on an invigorating show complete with rage and moshing fans. Their songs put the audience in the mood for crowd surfing, apparently, as several dove off of the stage into the mess of people on the floor. Rose Gold played to a sea of risen arms attached to head-bobbing and jumping fans while brave souls launched themselves in the air in a display of trust and adrenaline, riding the excitement for as long as possible.
Ben Quad played third. This group is notoriously fun and upbeat. Every performance is paired with some sort of comedic skit – in this case, they made jokes, sang a line from “Don’t Trust Me” by 3OH!3, launched into the first verse of “All Star” by Smash Mouth, and had everyone participate in a “team leadership building exercise.” (Everyone was supposed to say three nice things to the person beside them – and “you’re nice” or complimenting their clothes didn’t count.)
Comedy aside, Ben Quad played their tunes about mental health with their uniquely upbeat twist. Rather than simply singing about the struggles of mental illness, they performed songs that embrace the aspect of moving-on and leaving the past. The four had an incredible onstage presence that only enhanced their vibrant and interactive performance.
The Classless went next. The epitome of a pop-punk band, The Classless had the crowd singing and dancing along from start to finish. Their performance was exhilarating and their music, intoxicating. The band sounded experienced and put-together, lacking the pause for tuning and technical difficulties that the earlier bands shared.
Whether they were playing songs off of their latest EP, Try Not to Panic, Pt. 2, or older songs, they had the whole audience enthralled by their music. Even those unfamiliar with The Classless were able to participate when the group’s cover of Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” began, causing everyone to revisit their angst-y-teen-girl side.
Then came Cliffdiver. The excitement for this band was tangible, bubbling in the crowd as people waited with bated breath for the band that brought them there. The cheers began while members were still setting up as a reminder of their love and support.
When it was time for the five to begin their set, the whole room shifted to the front, squeezing those at the stage while they belted out lyrics and voiced their approval. A range of emotions was felt throughout the next hour or so as Cliffdiver performed their entire catalog – both Small Hours and At Your Own Risk were played through entirely.
It has been said before that this band can make you feel every emotion under the sun, and last night was no exception. One minute, you’re crying to “Alone in Your Apartment” and stressing to “Satan Parked My Car,” and the next, you’re bellowing, “I know I’m good enough – enough for anyone – and finally, myself.”
Every verse, every sax solo, every note escaping the instruments onstage; it was enough to both bring a person to tears and to restore hope in the hopeless.
Cliffdiver filmed a live music video last night, as well; so, for those who attended, be prepared to soon see yourselves in the throes of a concert high while the band plays “Lost in Ikea.”
Check out Hazelwave, Rose Gold, Ben Quad, The Classless, and Cliffdiver on all social media and music streaming sites.