Concert Review: Emarosa at Baltimore Soundstage

December 9th, 2018 by Kaili McDonald


On Tuesday, November 27th 2018, five bands rolled up to the Baltimore Soundstage in Baltimore, MD to liven up a welcoming crowd. Arlington, the Faim, Devour the Day, Emarosa, and Hands Like Houses made for an interesting line-up for sure.

I’ve found that Soundstage always has amazing opening bands, and Arlington was no exception. In fact, I’m listening to them as I write. Anyways, the show started off with Arlington, a three-member band from southern California. The first thing that I noticed besides their incredibly full sound and high energy performance was that the lead singer, Tyler Benko, sounded like Alex Turner from the Artic Monkeys. Then I realized that this band had the sound that I wish the latest Artic Monkeys album had. Amazing. Arlington was definitely one of the best performances that I’d ever seen. They even played a cover of “Reptilia” by the Stokes, which the bassist Channing Peake took on the vocals. It was Peake’s birthday, and “Reptilia” is one of his favorite songs. I also have to give credit to drummer Grant Whitson. I honestly wish they could have played longer, as I would have loved to hear so much more! Arlington’s sound, stage presence, mastery of instruments, crowd reaction, and style were all around incredible, and I definitely recommend checking them out.

The second band to perform was the Faim, a band from Australia. This is the Faim’s first time touring in the U.S., and the crowd was so excited to see them. I even met a woman while I was in line to get in to the venue that put up posters all over Baltimore for the band, and drove over an hour and a half just to hear them. The Faim had great energy and a good sound. They definitely had more of a pop sound than any of the other bands that played, and they reminded me of a softer, more boy-band-ish, Austrialian cross between Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. Overall, they put on a cool performance and the crowd reacted well to the music–especially to their hit song “A Million Stars.”

Devour the Day, a three-piece hard rock band from Memphis, Tennessee, was great!!! They were another high-energy performance that you could definitely bang your head to. I loved everything about them–the willingness to run all over stage, throw picks into the crowd, the bass, the drums, the guitar, the vocals. All of it mad me want to jump into the ever-opening pit that took up the majority of the standing room. As with Arlington, I was so impressed with the fullness and quality of their sound. Devour the Day puts on a great show, and they are heavy rotation worthy.

So from the hard rock of Devour the Day, the show transitioned to the heavy alt rock sound of Emarosa, fronted by Bradley Walden. From the very beginning of the show, he was dancing around on stage, hitting the classic high-notes of Emarosa frontmen, and interacting with the crowd. As a long time fan of Emarosa, I was so excited to hear some of their older music that I grew up listening to–the stuff that gets you through your middle school and high school troubles–but as the setlist suggests, they only played songs from their latest two albums, and a single from their album set to release on February 8th. As I started listening to Emarosa when they were a post-hardcore band, I wish they played their harder music from Relativity and their self-titled album. Even members of the crowd were pleading to the band, “Set it off! Set it off!” in reference to the song “Set it Off Like Napalm,” which is a total banger. Still, the songs they played were great and Emarosa put on a show, let-me-tell-ya. The whole entire band played amazingly, especially lead guitarist ER White. I also want to say that as much backlash that Walden gets for not being Emarosa’s former frontman, Jonny Craig, Walden has really come into his own with Emarosa. Overall, Emarosa had a great sound, cute lighting, and was able to move the crowd emotionally and physically. By the end of the set, the crowd was pumped for Hands Like Houses, another Australian band.

The headliner, Hands Like Houses, had a powerful sound–the kind where you can feel every strum of the guitar, pop of the bass, and bang of the drum come from the floor into your toes and up to your nose. The crowd bombarded the dark stage with screaming energy equivalent to that of the band. All of the smoke and the light show that went along the performance matched the intensity of the band. While the music was really great, I felt like the lead vocalist’s voice was weak at some points, especially when he sang low notes, but the higher notes and scream-ier vocals were A1. I grew up listening to all of the genres that make up harder rock, so it was cool to finally hear a band that I had heard so much about, but the set just seemed like one continuous head-bang to me. Although it would have been nice to hear more variance in sound, Hands Like Houses was a good headlining act. I’ll end this review by thanking the bands to opening my ears to some new music, and by giving props to Soundstage for always hosting interesting performers that are worthwhile to go out to see.

Emarosa Setlist:

  1. Young Lonely
  2. Helpless
  3. Givin’ Up
  4. Miracle
  5. People Like Me, We Just Don’t Play
  6. Cloud 9
  7. A Hundred Crowns
  8. Hurt
  9. Sure



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