November 14, 2014 Flyleaf soar high in NYC 10-16-14 w/ Lullwater & Ryan White
Texas based band Flyleaf have kept themselves extremely busy over the past few months. Coming off the release of their fourth studio album, Between the Stars, the band hit the road for a month long North American tour. Rolling with the winds of change, the band replaced the departing Lacey Strum with vocalist Kristen May in 2012. Thrown right into the ring, May was put in the spotlight as the band began a tour with Drowning Pool immediately following her arrival, in support of their 2012 album, New Horizons. Now with some on-stage experience under he belt, as well as completing her first full length recording session as a member of Flyleaf, May was ready to show Flyleaf fans what she was made of. Excitement was high, with fans wondering what would be in store for this new show. Coming to New York City on a rainy Thursday, October 16th evening, Flyleaf had a swell of support coming out to see them at Gramercy Theater.
First up to the platform from Queens, New York was Hard Rock opening band Charetta. Consistently active in and around the local scene, Charetta have been featured on some major National bills on their New York stops, including Revolvers Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock 2014 and Vans Warped Tour 2014. Led by vocalist Angelina DelCarmen, Charetta revved up the stage like a steam engine with guitarist Pablo LaFrossia, guitarist Chris Fullam, drummer Adonis Sanchez, and bassist Richard Mollo, Performing songs like “Lights Out,” along with newer track “I’m Not Your Bitch,” Charetta had the right amount of energy to strike a chord with everyone present that night at Gramercy Theater. It was easy to see this was a bittersweet night for the band and their followers, as it was also the farewell performance of Mollo on bass. Saying their emotional goodbye to the long-time band member, Charetta still march on. Look for them at a free acoustic performance in NYC on December 11th, just in time for the holidays.
Next up was singer-songwriter Ryan White. Mixing emotional vocals with clarified rhythm guitar and thoughtful lyrics, White added a new spice to this evening of Hard Rock. Breaking it down to an acoustic set, White affectionately performed tracks off of his 2013 debut album Cry Wolf and was simply captivating in the process. Admitting he was feeling under the weather, but did not want to cancel his NY appearance on the tour, White battled through this rough patch and put on an intense performance. Those interested in a someone that bares it all with themselves, a voice, and guitar, White is an absolute must to listen to and a wonderful discovery for pure music lovers.
Following up was Athens, GA band Lullwater. As a band defying trends and sticking to what they hold true to their heart, Lullwater bring an affectionate brand of ’90s influenced Grunge influenced Hard Rock with Southern accents. Having taking a working class approach to bringing the music to the people, the band have spent exceptional amounts of time on the road and deservingly found themselves as direct support on this major tour with Flyleaf. Consisting of John Strickland (vocals/guitar), Brett Strickland (guitar), Roy Beatty (bass), and Joseph Wilson (drums), the band came out rocking and rolling to to a set list that featured soulful, heavy tunes from their self-title album, including songs like “Tug of War” and “Albatross.” Connecting with the audience on a deeper level, John was in high-spirits as he put on a wonderful exhibition of crooning, gut-wrenching Rock vocals. This tour is large stepping stone for the band, as more and more people hear their music and become lifelong fans.
The time had arrived for the main act to take over Gramercy Theater and looking around the room, the wide-eyed spectators were more than ready. Walking out one by one, Sameer Bhattacharya (guitar), Jared Hartmann (guitar), Pat Seals (bass), and James Culpepper (drums) took their places, but all eyes were on May as she began with the 2006 track, “Fully Alive.” Owning the spotlight, May voice was reaching heights above and beyond even the most supportive fans exceptions. It had almost seemed as if the vocalist had an underlined determination to silence naysayers and proudly say that she’s here to stay. Reaching out to fans, May showed her affection for the audience by climbing down to the floor, leaning over the barricade and grabbing outstretched hands. Marching on with new songs like “Set Me on Fire,” “Magnetic,” the beautiful “Platonic,” and “Head Underwater,” the audience sang along as they took in the newfound material. While some in attendance admittedly had not heard the new record yet, by the time the set was through, the same people were eager to pick up a copy to listen to it entirely.
Excreting every once of energy in their bodies, the entire band was lit up, jumping and gliding about the stage and feeding off the energy around them. Playing fan-favorites like “Sorrow” along with “All Around Me,” the set rounded out with new tracks “Home” and “City Kid.” Screaming loudly, Gramercy Theater was buzzing for more and Flyleaf answered the call with a encore of “I’m So Sick” and “So I Thought.” This was a show full of non-stop action from beginning to end and it would be difficult to find someone in that crowd who left disappointed. Even more exciting for dedicated fans, Flyleaf took part in a meet and greet upon the show’s conclusion, proving their deep appreciation for those who listen. While the tour may have concluded on November 7th, chances are that Flyleaf will be back on the road again sometime soon, so don’t miss a chance to see their passionate, moving music.