Photos / Review: Emarosa takes over The Webster in Hartford, Connecticut

Who: Emarosa, A Lot Like Birds, Jule Vera

Where: Webster Underground, Hartford, Connecticut 

When: September 25, 2017

I’ve seen Emarosa once before – about a year ago – so I thought I knew what I was in for with this show, but I was very very wrong.

Jule Vera was the first band on the tour that performed. I saw only a few minutes of their set when they were on Warped Tour, so I was really excited to see them play. At the beginning of the set, the crowd was spread out throughout the room, but the longer they played, the closer you gravitated to the stage; it was like a magnet on stage was pulling you in. Their set was full of fun, upbeat songs that the entire audience was dancing along with. They had an issue with the sound check before their set, which ate up so much time that they had to cut out a few songs. What amazed me was that if I hadn’t been following along with the set list on stage and paying close attention, I never would have noticed. They were real pros and the transition was absolutely seamless. Jule Vera is definitely going to go on to do big things and I’m really excited to see them live again.

A Lot Like Birds went on after Jule Vera. I always find it fun when a band has both a clean singer and a screamer. Their music was not what I usually listen to, but it’s to their credit that I still enjoyed their set. Matt Coate especially made himself memorable before they even started their set by joking around with the audience and dancing to the music and he brought that fun energy into his performance. I really liked how they balanced the clean vocals with the screams; both had good opportunities to shine without ever overtaking the other. They also had some killer guitar solos. Overall, they surpassed my expectations for their set and I had a good time.

The openers were good, but when Emarosa came on, the room practically exploded. The last time I saw Emarosa, I thought I had seen the craziest their set could ever get; I didn’t realize they were going to outdo themselves beyond what I could have imagined. As soon as Bradley Walden stepped on stage, the energy was dialed up to as high as it could get and stayed that way the entire night. The audience knew every single word to every single song. Walden was more contained than last time (when he climbed up a balcony, jumped off and crowdsurfed back to the stage), but the show was even better. The bass player was flipped again, which is always a cool moment in the show; Walden came into the audience and sang, which was another fun touch. Their set included a bunch of songs from their latest album plus some oldies, as well as a fun cover of Paramore’s “Decode.” The set highlighted Walden’s talent for singing, but also showcased how strong the rest of the band is; every single musician on stage performed amazingly well. Jordan Stewart, ER White, and Matthew Marcellus were very strong technically, but also connected with the audience very well. Bassist Robert Joffred was extremely charismatic and his energy worked well with Walden’s; when Walden focused on one side of the room, Joffred focused on the other so there was never one spot in the audience that felt like it was being ignored. He’s also a talented singer in his own right. Drummer Kyle Adams was a new face to me, but he definitely earned a spot on my list of memorable drummers. The only bad thing about an Emarosa set is that it has to end.  This second time seeing them was so much better than the first; they do say, though, that third time’s a charm, so I’m already (not so patiently) waiting for the next round of tour dates to be announced.

Post and photos by Karen Shalev

Did you attend this tour? Comment below.

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