Thirdstory – Concert Review (Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, April 18, 2018)

I don’t get to attend many concerts each year and when I do it is usually me taking my daughter to a show.  This case was no different with the exception that I am fan of the band as well. The band is Thirdstory who are out of New York City and featuring Elliott Skinner, Ben Lusher and Richard Saunders.  Their music is a mixture of Pop and R&B with some unbelievable harmonizing.  That is definitely the highlight of the band.

The night started out early as the show didn’t start until 8pm, but we had to arrive at 5:30pm.  Why?  Well, I am trying to win a Father of the Year award and I surprised my daughter with Meet & Greet passes for the show.  She had been hinting all along how cheap it was and I didn’t even have to get a pass since she was underage.  I could be her chaperone.  Little did she know how convincing of an argument she made.

We got there a little early and she ended up being 2nd in line to meet the band.  She was so nervous and it all started it out well enough.  She walked up all smiles and started talking, saying hello to the band and then suddenly she got a little quiet. So, in good old dad fashion, I jumped right in to keep the conversation going.  I mentioned she saw the band once before when they opened for Tori Kelly almost two years to the day at the Fillmore in Charlotte.

The band has a song “G Train” (which I will talk about later), but I brought up the fact we were in New York a couple weeks earlier.  I told them we were unable to catch the G Train while we were there.  Funny enough, they laughed and said they would be worried if we did as it isn’t the safest train in New York.  Now, I am glad we didn’t catch it.

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The guys were extremely nice and poor Ben had caught a cold and was drinking some hot tea to help is throat.  During the show, you couldn’t even tell he was sick as he sounded great.  They took a picture with my daughter and she also received a Hat, an Autographed poster and a disposable camera (the band already took a picture with it).

After she got to spend several minutes with the band, we were free to hang around and pick a spot for the show as it was general admission.  It was only 6:15 now and the doors wouldn’t open until 7:00.  It felt like we had the place all to ourselves as there were only about 12-15 people in there at the time.

The Visulite Theatre is really a cool, intimate venue.  We picked a spot just off the floor, around 25 feet from the stage and at stage level.  They were incredible seats.  My daughter wanted the front row on the floor (which we could get), but I brought up she would be standing the whole time as there were no seats there and she would be looking up at the band the whole time.  And the sound wouldn’t be as great.  And I was old and didn’t want to stand forever.  She caved and she was happy we did as we had the perfect spot.

While waiting for the show, the opening act, Grace Weber, came out and did a quick sound check.  She played around a little and did one song and that was that, but it was cool watching a little at what goes on during a sound check.

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The show started promptly at 8:00 and Grace came out and nailed it.  She has a great voice (despite a lot of reverb).  She sang for about 30 minutes and her style was modern R&B with some Pop sensibilities and she was sensational.  The crowd loved her and when she would play around with her vocals, the crowd would scream.  It was just her and her keyboard player Brandon.  Brandon was hilarious to watch as he was so casually playing like he was the cool shit.  And he was!!

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We only had to wait 15 minutes after Grace’s set as Thirdstory came on at 8:45 to a screaming, adoring fanbase.  The jumped right in to “Hit the Ceiling” and you knew right away the band’s vocals were solid and damn these guys can sing.  After that, they went into “Grow Old” which sounds so cool live.  There is a slow build to the song and then towards the end there is the climax with the vocal harmony and music that send chills up and down your spine and the hairs on your arm stand up.  And yes, they did that for me.  It was one of those songs that is great on the album, but even better live!

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The album they are supporting is actually their first and only album called ‘Cold Heart’.  The fact they were the headliner meant we actually got to hear the entire album.  All ten songs plus some covers.  How many times does that ever happen with a band.  Of course, they switched the running order up and threw in some different songs and changed up the songs from the album on occasion.

The 3 cover songs they played were “Hot Line Bling” by Drake and “Gone” by Adrianne Lenker and for the encore it was “Many Rivers to Cross” by Jimmy Cliff.  They were all great, but the “Hot Line Bling” was the one that mad the crowd go nuts.

One of the funny moments is when Richard was talking in between songs and mentioned that the band was having a hard time deciding which song of theirs was the saddest song as they were all so depressing.  They then went and played “Goodbye My Friend”. It is really a true statement as the songs aren’t happy-go-lucky songs.  They are really sad stories about heartache and heartbreak, but the way they do them brings them to life in a way that makes you connect and enjoy them regardless.

They played “G Train”, of course, and it was great, but honestly, it wasn’t as good as the time they played it on tour with Tori Kelly.  That version sounded like a train and the vocals and music were in sync and so powerful. This time it was louder and more pop and not as dramatic an impact.  That would have been my only disappointment in the show.  Otherwise, the show was WOW!

Elliott would switch back and forth between bass and guitar and at the end of a couple songs, he would lose himself and just be strumming along and the guys would stop and watch him.  Between his vocals and musical talent, he is my favorite of the band if I had to choose (no offense meant to the others).  He is fun to watch as he gets so into what he is doing which is refreshing.

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Ben got his moment as well.  During the encore (I believe), he was fooling around on the keyboards and every time he would let his fingers fly on the keys, the crowd would shout out and scream so freakin’ loud.  It was hilarious at the impact he was having.  Now of course, I was too busy screaming to take a picture, but here he is singing (the picture is a little washed out sorry for that).

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And you can’t forget about Richard.  What is there to say about Richard other than he is such a great vocal talent.  His range is great and the emotion he garners in his vocals is outstanding.  He is an a joy to listen to and you get lost in his vocals.  Amazing.

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The ended their set with “Searching for a Feeling” and their harmonies were again spot on.  This is one of my favorite songs of theirs so it was great to end the set with this one.  It had the crowd wanting more and we got that when they returned for the encore.  The final song of the show was “Still in Love” and is the current single off their new album.  The crowd was singing along and I think everyone was so happy and joyful that when the show ended, the crowd didn’t go flooding out. It was the slowest exit of a concert I have ever seen.  What was even funnier, is a Kendrick Lamar song came over the speakers after the show and everyone just started singing.  It was…interesting.

 

Now, on the way out, Grace Weber was in the back taking pictures with people as they left.  My daughter ran up to her and gave her a big hug and Grace said to her “Wow, I love your hair” (or something of that nature).  It made my daughter feel good. She got a picture with her as well.  I won’t post the pictures of her with the bands but those are her memories and special moments and not for me to share.

All in all, I would say it was a successful evening and my Father of the Year award is in the bag!!  My daughter had a great time and I had another great memory with her.

Setlist:

  1. Hit the Ceiling
  2. Grow Old
  3. Over (When We Said Goodbye)
  4. Goodbye My Friend
  5. Hot Line Bling (Drake)
  6. Gone (Adrianne Lenker)
  7. On and On
  8. G Train
  9. Only Love
  10. I’m Coming ‘Round
  11. Searching For A Feeling
  12. Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff) – Encore
  13. Still in Love – Encore

2 thoughts on “Thirdstory – Concert Review (Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, April 18, 2018)

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