Paper Route And HalfNoise At Bootleg Theater
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By Kellyn Robison
As Nashville, Tenn., has been making America aware over the last few years, it's more than just the home of country music. For example, Music City has been churning out some notable indie rock bands. Two of them invaded Los Angeles on a warm summer night as Paper Route and HalfNoise took the stage at the Bootleg Theater on June 28.
As the lights dimmed, the members of Paper Route, clad in denim shirts and vests, emerged as the violin-heavy lullaby theme of "Once Upon A Time In The West" by GRAMMY-winning composer Ennio Morricone played. The audience was awakened as Paper Route opened with their upbeat tune "Two Hearts," from their 2012 self-produced and self-released album The Peace Of Wild Things.
Lead singer J.T. Daly didn't waste time with chatter as he serenaded the packed 250-capacity room with songs of love, hope and heartbreak, complete with catchy melodic choruses, flawless falsetto vocals and groovy electronic beats. Paper Route had the audience dancing and clapping to "Two Hearts" and everyone cheered as Daly jumped onto an elevated platform to play a kid-size drum kit during "Last Time."
During the intro to their ode to the afterlife, "Dance On Our Graves," Daly stated, "We've always prided ourselves on being an honest band, and this is one of the most honest songs we have ever written."
Next, Daly couldn't help but smile as he watched fans sing the lyrics to "Gutter" from of their first full-length album, 2009's Absence.
Paper Route closed their set with their synth-heavy rock song "Rabbit Holes," but Daly, drummer Gavin McDonald and bassist Chad Howat didn't keep the Bootleg waiting too long for an encore as they anxiously filed back onstage and began a "Happy Birthday" sing-a-long to McDonald. The evening ended with the haunting "Glass Heart Hymn," which led to the entire room singing out the anthem: "Hallelu-Hallelu-Hallelujah! Let it rain, let it pour down on ya!"
Paper Route held true to the tagline that adorns their tour T-shirts: "Fine Music and Performance Art."
Opening the evening was fellow Nashville band HalfNoise, the new project by Zac Farro, founding member and former drummer of the GRAMMY-nominated band Paramore. Farro formed HalfNoise quickly after his split from Paramore in 2010 and fans anxiously awaited their self-titled EP, which was released in the fall of 2012. Farro fans may have been surprised to hear the airy electro-pop feel of the album, but that didn't stop them from coming out to his performance that night.
Surrounded by various percussion instruments, Farro and his band members captivated the room with infectious beats, soothing vocals and an energetic stage presence. During "Hide Your Eyes," Farro simultaneously banged on a floor tom with a drumstick and tapped a cymbal with a tambourine. During multiple songs, including "Free The House," Farro found himself in a "drum battle" with Paper Route's McDonald, who serves double duty as the drummer for both bands.
The crowd embraced these Nashvillians, including Paper Route's parting advice to "tip your bartenders, and love your enemies."
Paper Route Set List:
"Are We All Forgotten"
"Dance On Our Graves"
"Letting You Let Go"
"You And I"
"Glass Heart Hymn"
(Kellyn Robison lives in Los Angeles where she serves as Project Coordinator for the GRAMMY Foundation. When she's not at a concert, you can find her on the soccer field, at the beach or playing a concert of her own. You can follow her on Twitter @KellynJo or view her blog at www.kellynjo.com.)