By Isabella Dionne
Vinyl Theatre and Finish Ticket made their second stop on the Live Nation Ones to Watch Tour Saturday night at Brighton Music Hall.
Opening the show was Sacramento-based alt-pop band Cemetery Sun, who were added to the bill days before the tour reached Boston. Their brief set included their bitter-tinged 2015 single “Wish It Was Love” and closed with the equally angst-driven single “(Hard Drugs) Fake Love” off their upcoming self-titled EP.
Vinyl Theatre took the stage next. It was the second time in about three months that the indietronica band has visited Brighton Music Hall, having just performed at the venue in November on Against the Current’s Gravity World Tour. The band, now a three-piece after losing bassist Josh Pothier for health and personal reasons, played an absolutely electrifying set that included hits from their debut album, Electrogram, less-known songs “Pillow Talk” and “Tokyo” from their first EP, Gold, and snippet covers of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” and Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.” Vinyl Theatre had the audience singing along to the choruses of fan favorites like the energetic “Breaking Up My Bones” and synth-driven “Stay,” and hanging onto every word of their somber new track, “My Fault,” which will be released on their next album. Despite being down a member, the band seemed even more polished and vibrant than in previous tours. Drummer Nick Cesarz, keyboardist Chris Senner, and guitarist/vocalist Keegan Calmes brought exceptional individual talent that melded into one brilliant performance throughout the show, finishing off an explosive set with “The Rhythm of Night” and leaving the crowd anxious for their next return to Boston.
San Francisco indie/alt group Finish Ticket performed last, beginning their set with “Wrong,” an upbeat song off their 2015 EP, When Night Becomes Day. The six-piece, led by amicable lead singer Brendan Hoye, played a set consisting mostly of songs from their debut album, Tears You Apart. By the time they played the raw and emotional “Catch You on My Way Out,” the group had full command over their devoted fans. The audience later went wild over their cover of The Killers’ “When You Were Young,” and for the remainder of the show, Brighton Music Hall thundered with the sound of the enlivened audience. The band went out with a bang as fans sang and cheered along to “Bring the Rain.” The stage darkened, but the energy of the venue was still electric. After chants of “one more song!” Finish Ticket returned to the stage to roaring cheers, ending the night with “Doctor” before thanking the fans and the city one last time.
The Ones to Watch Tour continues west before closing out on March 26 in Houston. Afterward, Finish Ticket will join Fall Out Boy and AWOLNATION for a single show in their hometown of San Francisco. Fans of Vinyl Theatre can expect a sophomore album in the near future.