The Wake Up and Be Awesome Tour brought the heat back to Arizona with the kickoff show in Scottsdale on Thursday.
Hometown heroes The Summer Set, joined by pop punk powerhouses Go Radio and We Are the In Crowd played through an energetic evening filled with catchy tunes and lots of crowd interaction.
Go Radio started off the night with a powerful set, but only got a lukewarm response from the nearly full Martini Ranch. As people continued to enter the venue, the band played through its hit songs like “Any Other Heart,” “Go to Hell” and “Goodnight Moon.” Singer Jason Lancaster’s strong vocals carried the band’s unfortunately short set to get the fans excited for the rest of the show.
Female-fronted pop punk band We Are the In Crowd took the stage next to enthusiastic cheers from the audience. It had been a significant amount of time since the band had paid a visit to Arizona, so the fans danced and sang along to all of the band’s songs. Lead singer Tay Jardine, along with accompanying vocalist Jordan Eckes encouraged the crowd to jump with them throughout the duration of the set and the audience happily obliged. Despite a few problems with the microphones, the band still rocked Martini Ranch, playing popular songs like “Kiss Me Again,” “You’ve Got It Made” and “Rumor Mill.” The funniest moment of the set, however, came when Jardine put on an audience member’s horse mask and posed for pictures onstage. After the band’s set, the crowd was visibly pumped for the headlining band.
The Summer Set never plays a boring show, and Thursday evening was no exception. Despite the winter temperatures outside, fans inside the venue were sweating as they jumped and screamed along to “F*** U Over,” the opening song of the band’s set. Playing a solid mix of newer and older songs, the band also sprinkled in music from its upcoming album. The audience was not shy about expressing their love for the band, and lead singer Brian Dales encouraged the wave of crowd surfers and stage divers. With all of the energy in the venue, the band still decided to play “About a Girl” and “Where Are You Now” acoustic to calm some of the pushier members of the audience.
Along with songs from both of its albums, The Summer Set debuted new material for the first time in the U.S., including a new song called “Maybe Tonight” midway through the set. With the headlining slot, the band had more time to play music, so it threw in a rousing cover of Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven.” Dales’s vocal range, combined with the stamina of the band behind him kept the fans moving all night. Despite a few minor technical difficulties with the guitars, the band never faltered.
The encore was undoubtedly the best part of the show, as The Summer Set debuted the title track from its upcoming album, called “Legendary.” By the end of the song, everyone in the venue was singing along and the smiles on the band member’s faces really showed the joy they felt at being back on stage. The band closed with “Chelsea,” its biggest hit, and fans left the venue tired and sweaty, but very visibly happy at what was a fantastic kickoff show.
Reach the reporter at Olivia.Khiel@asu.edu