December 2, 2014 Vertical Horizon enchants The YMCA Boulton Center Bay Shore, NY 11-23-14
During the the 1990s, Alternative Rock was blossoming with a talented, diverse mix of musicians, all having something unique to bring to the scene. Vertical Horizon was formed in 1991, initially as a duo by vocalist/guitarist Matt Scannell and vocalist/guitarist Keith Kane while attending Georgetown University. Putting together two solid albums that were released under the label Rhythmic Records, the band’s big break came in 1999 with their RCA Records debut album, Everything You Want. Going two times platinum in the United States and producing four top charted singles, Vertical Horizon went from an underground gem to Alternative Rock stars after years of hard work. After nineteen years of working together, Kane made the decision to pursue a solo career 2010, thus ending his time in Vertical Horizon. Continued on by co-founder Scannell, Vertical Horizon continues on with live performances and the release of their sixth overall studio album in 2013, titled Echoes from the Underground. Now in continued support of the new material, the band toured around North America and made a stop at The YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts of the Great South Bay in Bay Shore, NY on Sunday, November 23rd, to entertain their dedicated Long Island fanbase.
Finding a home away from home on Long Island, Vertical Horizon have made regular visits over the last couple of years. This time, playing the comfortable surroundings of The YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, an intimate feeling was felt all around as the lights went down and the set began. As the band opened with new song “You Never Let Me Down,” everyone focused their eyes on the stage as Scannell sang as passionately as ever. Originally featuring Richard Marx as part of the studio recording, Scannell belted out the tune to a crowd of ecstatic fans. The feeling of warmth continued with 2003 single “I’m Still Here,” and an explosive energy came during “You’re a God.” Provoking a beautifully harmonic single along from the audience during the chorus, Scannell was all smiles from the positive reaction. Shuffling up newer track “Song for Someone” and then 1999’s “Send it up,” Scannell followed them up with another newbie called “Lovestruck.” As fans bopped their heads to the music it was easy to see that they knew the present material and enjoyed it as much as classics.
As the evening moved along, Scannell was naturally a personable presence on the stage. Cracking jokes with the audience, he created a light and fun mood. Complimented by a talented supporting band that included Ron LaVella (drums), Donovan White (guitar) and Jeffrey Jarvis (bass), each song was full of texture and feeling as they continued with 2009 track, “The Lucky One.” As the boys transitioned into perhaps one of the most beautiful Vertical Horizon songs ever written, “Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning),” the crowd swayed back and forth as Scannell brought the words to life with perfect inflection and emotion. Following with “Broken Over You,” the set closed out with mega hit “Everything You Want,” enticing fans to stand up, sing, and dance along. Saying good night only momentarily, the band returned for a two song encore, beginning with the powerful new song “Instamatic.” Featuring some Rush styled drum work by LaVella, everyone applauded graciously as they went into the final offering, “We Are,” the lead single that helped launch them into mainstream success.
Vertical Horizon is one of those bands that never seem to disappoint. With such strong songwriting skills by Scannell, it seems merely impossible that they could ever let the crowd down during a live performance. The new material from Echoes from the Underground is on par with anything the band ever done and a treat to hear among their signature songs. Pick up a copy of the new album and watch out for more Vertical Horizon tour dates to experience them live.