Dance Across the Country Tour: The Morning Light, Steel Train, The Cab, The Hush Sound

It’s not often I go to a show where I’ve heard the band online, been disinterested and then seen them live and they’ve completely changed my view of them. The Morning Light did this quite easily. I wasn’t a fan and couldn’t tell you the name of a single one of their songs beforehand, but after I saw them, it wasn’t more than two songs in that they’d completely changed my opinion and I’d become an instant fan.

The Morning Light

The Morning Light

Their lyrics are damn catchy and they’re one of those bands that just completely rocks live. A lot of the people I knew at the show were, surprisingly enough, actually just there to see The Morning Light! And I could definitely see why. They have a crisp sound that rivals that of The Hush Sound (a very fitting act for this tour) and makes me understand why they’ve got themselves a pretty large, and still growing, fanbase.

Steel Train played second. I actually hadn’t heard of them before attending the Dance Across the Country Tour, aside from when I bought my ticket and looked up the tour’s roster. They opened up with a lot of energy and were really already getting into the music. Even if the music wasn’t honestly any good, their set would be one hundred percent worth watching. The energy this band puts into every song, how they really try and get the crowd into it, makes the ticket worth every penny. Steel Train play because they enjoy it and not for any other reason.

Steel Train

Steel Train

What surprised me most was how the band kept that high energy level during their whole set; it never faltered, not even once. Even during their slower, quieter songs, they kept the crowd clapping and singing along, a feat I haven’t seen many bands accomplish. My favorite part of the set though had to be when some of the roadies and merch people came up and played on an extra drum head and some cowbells during the last song and sang along, it’s another thing you don’t see often at shows but it’s always cool when you do.

I can’t even pretend I wasn’t super excited to see The Cab again, after I saw them back in February when they were on tour with Cobra Starship and We The Kings, especially after I got to review their CD Whisper War. They opened up with “I’ll Run” and, while they aren’t as energetic as Steel Train, they’ve still got a good energy. Alex Deleon does just about everything but stand at the mic stand as he sings. Next, they played “Take My Hand” and “That 70’s Song,” which were met with equal enthusiasm and even more screaming than the set opener.

The Cab

The Cab

Alex Marshall is, in my opinion, one of those few pianists who is actually entertaining to watch since he gets really into playing the music and moves around as much as could make sense when he has to stay at least partially stationary, and by that I mean on his chair. Cash Cooligan and Ian Crawford, the bassist and guitarist respectively, also seem to be a lot more into playing live than the last time I saw them. “Can You Keep A Secret” and “Bounce” closed out their set and they had the best reactions from the crowd and were easily the best sounding and most energetic songs played.

The Hush Sound opened up with just Greta Salpeter on stage at the piano singing the song that was the introduction to their CD Goodbye Blues. The rest of the band members came out as she was finishing the introduction and jumped into one of the most uppity (and one of my personal favorites) songs on their newest album, “Love You Much Better,” easily beating out all of the other bands that had played so far when it came to energy and enthusiasm. Next on the bill was an older song “We Intertwined.” It’s an amazing thing to go to a concert where everyone knows the lyrics to every single song.

The Hush Sound

The Hush Sound

Bob Morris and Chris Faller both shine on vocals like Greta, giving the band a very solid and steady sound. “Molasses” and “Medicine Man” were up next, also from the new record. The Hush Sound is one of those few rare bands that sound just as good live as they do on their studio recordings. Their set has a good mixture of old and new songs on it, those two new aforementioned songs being folded by two older ones, “Don’t Wake Me Up” (which on Like Vines has guest vocals done by Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy) and “Sweet Tangerine.” Of the four times I’ve seen this band live I can honestly say this is the best performance I’ve seen them give, even better in this much smaller more simple venue than they had the opportunity to grace during Honda Civic Tour.

My absolute favorite song, “Hurricane,” was next. The set took a sober slow mood for this song, as it should have, but not to my surprise at all, the crowd was still eagerly singing along at the top of their voices. “As You Cry” and “The Boys Are Too Refined” (the other two songs that has kept Goodbye Blues my favorite CD so far this year) were next. The band went right back to being incredibly enthusiastic and right back to full energy. The rest of the band, aside from Bob, took their time to leave the stage and give him his shining moment to sing one of the first songs the band ever put out, “Momentum.” I think it was perfect to leave him by himself for this song. One guitar and just his voice met the slow tone and heartfelt meaning of the song.

The rest of the band later rejoined Bob and they had a nice laugh with the crowd and went right into a very energetic and completely mind-blowingly good cover of the song “Back in the USSR”, proof that it doesn’t matter if they’re playing their own music or not, they’re just damn good at what they do. They made a smooth transition into “Not Your Concern” and then into one of their most well known songs “Wine Red.” Crawford from The Cab joined them on stage to play guitar and hilarity ensued when he stole the big floppy hat I was wearing and wore it during the whole song. Steel Train then came out and they did a Jackson Five cover of “I Want You Back.”

A band member from The Morning Light entered and they all sang a Barak Obama song which I have to say was pretty catchy and pretty hilarious, especially when the drummer Darren Wilson got up and rapped. They closed with another old song “Crawling Towards The Sun” (which was actually their first single off of their first record So Sudden) and “Honey,” current single off of Goodbye Blues.

My final verdict on this tour is quite simple: if it’s within reasonable driving distance and not sold out, get yourself a ticket.

The Cab: myspace | Whisper War review
The Hush Sound: website | myspace | Goodbye Blues review | Honda Civic Tour
Steel Train: website | myspace
The Morning Light: myspace

Written by: Hanna Marie

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