Action Item brought pop back to The Nile Theater on Wednesday on the latest stop of the Resolution Tour.
Local band Jasper Drive opened the show with an attempt to get the crowd moving. Unfortunately, even its cover of Ke$ha’s “Die Young” wasn’t enough to motivate the audience of mostly young girls. The lackluster response carried over to Hello Highway’s set. Although singer Daniel Sumstine was sick, he still delivered an impressive set, filled with catchy pop tunes that wouldn’t sound out of place as background music at a One Direction concert. While the band tried to keep the fans moving and singing along, the crowd remained fairly subdued until the end of the set.
The atmosphere changed completely when Paradise Fears burst onstage. Vocalist Sam Miller’s powerful Owl City-esque voice incited cheers and singing along to the band’s solid set list. The only uncomfortable moment came when the band also launched into a cover of “Die Young” by Ke$ha, which was a much slicker version of the one that Jasper Drive had played at the beginning of the evening. The band got emotional with its original song, “Home,” and the closing tune, “Sanctuary,” which included a spoken word interlude by Miller. It was an incredibly powerful moment that brought tears to the eyes of multiple people in the audience to close out the set.
Energy levels only increased with the entrance of pop group Before You Exit. Made up of three young brothers, as well as backing band members, the boys put on the most rousing set of the evening. Lead singer Riley McDonough bounded all over the stage as the band played through new and old material. Debuting its new single, “I Like That,” to an enthusiastic response, the band continued with a medley of Justin Bieber songs that got all the girls screaming. Their cheers got even louder when the band covered Hot Chelle Rae’s “Tonight, Tonight” later in the set. All three brothers definitely brought their cute and accessible music to the responsive fans, closing with “End of the World.”
The biggest surprise of the evening came in the form of Max Schneider, best known for his role of Zander Robbins on the Nickelodeon show, “How to Rock.” Schneider’s beaming smile and Beiber-style dance moves had the ladies in the audience swooning as he crooned his way through popular songs, such as Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me,” as well as original material. The flexible singer showed off his gymnastic prowess with a series of splits and moves reminiscent of cheerleading. Schneider definitely danced and sang his way into the heart of every girl in the room with his soulful vocals.
Action Item wasted no time in keeping the fans’ attention with its frenetic light show entrance to the stage. The band’s message of persevering in the face of adversity was the prevalent theme of the set as the fans sang along to every word. Singer Brian Cag interacted with the fans as the night went on and guitarist Anthony Li encouraged the audience to continue dancing and singing. The band brought out drums and keep the beat bumping until the last note of “Learn to Fly” to close out the enjoyable evening.
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