This past Thursday I traveled down to West Chester to cover a very special show for Sight of Sound Magazine. It was my first time The Note and it was for the Never Shout Never X-Mas Tour. The band is currently out on the road with varying support acts for this acoustic tour leading up to Christmas and in support of their new Christmas EP. Being a band that can fill large venues with relative ease, I knew this show at The Note would be a very unique one because the venue is no bigger than someone’s house. I am not certain exact what the capacity is in the venue but it was close to being full on Thursday with a comfortable size crowd of around 400 people I would guess.
In no time at all the venue had filled up and I had found myself a nice perch on the steps to see the entire show and snap off some photographs of the performance. Having seen the band playing on large stages before like The Sherman Theater and the Main Stage on Warped Tour it was really awesome to see them in this “coffee-shop” setting. When Christofer Drew and the rest of the band walked out around 8:30 it was really casual and it began just with a conversation between them and the crowd. This really set the mood for the rest of the night, fans were tossing notes to them, asking them questions and even handing their phones up to them to take pictures on stage. At one point a fan asked if they were going to be on Warped Tour 2014 and Christofer Drew said that they sadly won’t be returning this year. I think that was the only time all night that the crowd got sad about anything because everything else was so upbeat and fun!
As I said earlier, the show was in support of the band’s recent EP so it was no surprise when they played a whole bunch of the songs of it including my personal favorite Christmas song, “War is Over.” There was just something really powerful about hearing the band play all of these songs and a good amount of their other studio material in the acoustic format. I am going to be bold and say that it was the best I have ever heard the band sound in a live performance, not to say that there other shows were bad but the acoustic performance allowed for a certain degree of creativity to be added to each song. Some songs had unique new sounds added in, others were more of jams and some songs just become these really organic sounding pieces all because of the differences of playing acoustic compared to electric. The first song of the night, “Magic,” was a perfect example of just how amazing their studio material can sound presented in this way.
Christofer Drew’s vocals were able to really shine at this show because they weren’t over powered by the sound of the other instruments. Taylor MacFee and Hayden Kaiser both did well on their respective parts as well and seemed to really enjoy the losseness that the show permitted. Honestly from start to finish Never Shout Never put on one of the best shows I have been to in all of 2013; it was fun, fresh and most importantly it sounded incredible. So much happened during their set I can barely even fit it into this review so we are just going to a massive run on sentence crash course on what to expect. Ready? Set. GO! Santa, Snowman, Laughter, Notes, Fan Requests, Question-Answer, Kazoo, Harmonica, Guitars, MORE KAZOO, Star Wars Cover?, National Anthem??, and more fun than should be possible at an acoustic show. Do yourself a favor and get a ticket for this tour if they are still available in your town. If you were at the West Chester show our exclusive photos from the show are posted below :