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06/07/2013 Fuel, Laura Wilde, Melia, Starlight Cities (Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall)

By Eric | June 10, 2013 11:04 am

[One Sweet Lie was on the bill also, didn’t arrive in time to see them.]

I arrived as Starlight Cities came on. They’re a Rochester-based pop-rock band, and were pretty good. A perfect fit to open for Fuel for sure. Not too heavy, not too light, band sounded good, the singer could sing; I’d definitely check them out again. My Syracuse concert buddies Kiersten and Pete showed up with their friends during the set break, so it was cool to catch up with them for a little bit. Melia was up next, and she’s Rochester-based as well, with an eye towards having a national indie career. It was a little odd, as she’s apparently 21, and the rest of her band was about 45+. There’s looking pro, and then there’s looking contrived, and I thought their set looked contrived. All of the stage actions, the banter, it just all seemed kinda forced. The songs were good, and the band sounded good, but the whole packaged felt manufactured to me. Which brings me to the direct support: Laura Wilde. She’s an Aussie ex-pat who moved to L.A. to get her music career going. She tried very hard to project a sort of “safe punk” vibe (read: “ROCK AND ROLL YEAH!” but too clean and polished), and while her musical/guitar chops were pretty good, the whole package was just kinda “meh” to me. Her bass player looked like he should have been in a real punk band, not the facsimile he was actually in.

Anyway, her set came and went, and finally it was time for Fuel! Brett and his band of merrymen were a little different than the show I saw at Water Street in 2010, Brad Stewart is still playing bass, but now he’s got Andy Andersson on guitar (and this guy can PLAY), and a brand new drummer, Bryan Keeling. They came out and ripped into Last Time, then stayed with Something Like Human for Empty Spaces and Prove. We actually got Falls on Me this time (they kept away from Natural Selection in 2010), and while most of the set was the same as the 2010 show, we also got Innocent this time. They played a really cool extended intro to Hideaway also. I was a little surprised that we didn’t get to hear any new tunes, as they’ve been playing some off and on from the upcoming album. No matter, they sounded great, and looked happy to be there despite a smallish crowd that wasn’t terribly lively. No complaints from this corner!

Speaking of the crowd, what an odd mix. There were a lot of 45+ set, cougars with and without young and old dudes, and a then handful of my 30ish demographic. Very weird crowd, most of them not very into it, but were just “there to be there”. A lot of people stayed on the periphery of the floor. Needless to say I got very close to the stage, and was virtually untouched all night. There were two guys off to the right side that were legit _rocking out_ during the entire Fuel set, but they were the exception rather than the rule.

“Highlight”/”I’m old” moment of the night: Naturally, I’m “that guy” and wearing the Sunburn 98-99 Tour shirt.
Some younger guy comes up to me after the show (and the house lights are back on) and asks, “Did you get that shirt here tonight?” LOL. Does this shirt *look* like I got it here tonight? It’s beyond faded, there’s holes in it, and the silkscreening is cracking everywhere. This shirt is 15 years old, my friend. Pete goes, “How old are you? The shirt’s probably older than you are!” Dude claimed he was 30, I’d say 23 tops. Either way, a little bit of a chuckle at someone else’s lack-of-knowledge expense.

Fuel Setlist:
Last Time
Empty Spaces
Falls on Me
Bad Day
Jesus or a Gun

Hemorrhage (In My Hands)

Someone else has a couple of much better pictures here: Facebook pics

Topics: Concerts | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on 06/07/2013 Fuel, Laura Wilde, Melia, Starlight Cities (Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall)

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