The Vanguard Sells Out for “At Your Own Risk” Release Show

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.

On Holiday Performs at Punk Rock Social

Last week (Sunday, September 22), On Holiday ended their tour at 89th Street in OKC with a killer lineup. The Punk Rock Social Mini Fest included the bands Irrational Consumers, Ben Quad, On Holiday, Cliffdiver, When the Clock Strikes, and The Big News, in that order.

On Holiday is a self-described punk/rock/ska band. The three-piece includes guitarist and vocalist Aaron Miller, bassist and vocalist, Skyler FlyingOut, and drummer Jon Michael Jackson. The group had an EP called Going Mad come out back in March, and they recently released a new single, “Arizona,” on September 13.

On Holiday frequently tours, so having them back in OKC so shortly after their new song dropped was a special treat.

From the beginning of their set, it was like they came alive on the stage. Friends in the crowd catcalled and cracked jokes with the band members throughout the performance, keeping the atmosphere fun and friendly.

They started the show with their song, “Fuck If I Know.” In that moment, it was clear that this was the ultimate rock show. The air was electric with people bouncing and dancing in the crowd – the band wore huge grins as they moved onstage – it was brilliant. And it stayed that way through the rest of the performance.

The songs, in order, were as followed:

  1. Fuck If I Know
  2. Seattle to Chicago
  3. Arizona
  4. Rock Show (Blink 182 cover)
  5. Hey Look
  6. Ska Song
  7. Better Than This
  8. Going Mad

The music itself was good, but the energy was what made it great. This wasn’t a show where everyone knew every word to every song; there were six bands, and all of them attracted their own fans. Still, everyone sang along to their cover of “Rock Show,” and the band managed to get the crowd to sing “whoa” at the end of “Hey Look.”

While the audience may not have had On Holiday’s entire catalog memorized, they definitely enjoyed the music. Some overzealous fans took advantage of an empty space at the back and danced along wildly in an non-choreographed fashion.

All in all, it was a great show. Once the last song ended, and the band started taking down their equipment, the crowd began to sing “Happy Birthday” to drummer Jon Michael Jackson.

I spoke briefly with members of the group after, and the show was schedules specifically for his birthday. He chose the bands because they were personal favorites – he claims, “It was a birthday present to myself.”

Check out On Holiday on all social media and music streaming sites. Be sure to catch them at a performance near you – you won’t regret it.