On Wednesday night (1/25), Plug In Stereo, Romance on a Rocketship, and The Scene Aesthetic brought their nationwide tour to the Vibe Lounge in Rockville Centre for an intimate evening of acoustic and melodic pop-punk.
The show was much quieter than expected. Except for the two opening acts, Long Island’s Here’s To You, and Boston’s Super Prime, the show tended towards a more laid-back, acoustic feel.
Here’s To You played what was apparently their first show in a while on Wednesday. The crowd seemed to support their local talent, rocking along with the music. My personal take was that the set was fun, but other than their cover of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,” the band didn’t really stand out on their own.
Super Prime, playing one of a number of one-off shows before they go on tour, on the other hand, takes pop-punk up a notch. With the most energy of all the night’s bands, guitarist Adam Newell and bassist Austin Bond flew around the stage (especially Bond, who jumped off of everything except for the amps). For some reason though, the crowd at Vibe Lounge didn’t take to the band the same way the crowd in NYC did back in October. For a band that sounds an awful lot like Blink-182, you would think that the Long Island scene would embrace them. I overheard a lot of people say that they were good, but maybe the band’s volume was just too loud for that particular evening.
Romance on a Rocketship reminded me a bit of Cobra Starship, but without the synths. There is something about lead singer Kasey Smith that makes him memorable, even if his songs really weren’t. The band’s one single, and the last song of their set, “Skin and Bones,” was the catchiest thing they played.
Out of all the bands that played, The Scene Aesthetic had the most enthusiastic crowd. Such support was warranted, since they really were the highlight of the night. The way the duo traded vocals, sometimes finishing one another’s lines, was unique and impressive. Part Jason Mraz, part acoustic pop-punk, the band’s songs had a way about them that captured and sucked you in with beautiful melodies. You got the feeling that they were singing directly to you. They were also the only band to take requests, playing a couple songs for a girl in the front row that came to see them all the way from Connecticut for her birthday.
Much of the crowd had dissipated by the time Plug In Stereo, the night’s headliner, even got on stage. The band kept asking those that were left to get closer and closer to the stage to fill the large gap in front. It’s not that the band’s music was bad, far from it, but it didn’t necessarily have the same charm that The Scene Aesthetic’s set did.
Partial to punk gone acoustic, I found the night to be enjoyable. None of the bands were disappointing, whether they were high or low energy.