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Show Review: The Dangerous Summer with Tommy & The High Pilots
Show Review: The Dangerous Summer with Tommy & The High Pilots
09/11/13 at 09:07 PM by Ryan Gardner
The Dangerous Summer Album Release Tour with Tommy & The High Pilots
Mohawk in Austin, TX on September 8, 2013

While Golden Record hasn’t really stuck with me very well save for a few tracks, I can hardly express how much both Reach For The Sun and War Paint mean to me. Both of those records are modern classics in my ears, so I jumped at the chance to see The Dangerous Summer for the first time in two or three years.

Admittedly I was somehow completely unfamiliar with Tommy & The High Pilots prior to the concert, but they put on quite the show. Vocalist Tommy Cantillon is one of the most interesting and highly entertaining front men I’ve seen. He believes that any kind of dancing is dancing and displays this throughout the show. Coming into the crowd to get people moving, dancing around on stage in an almost robotic fashion, climbing up on top of the railing – he comes across as a man filled with unique energy perfect for fronting a band. Likewise, the rest of the crew effectively switched vibes from indie-pop to all out Killers-esque rock ‘n roll throughout the show, leaving quite the impression.

The Dangerous Summer’s set was pretty much all rock no talk, which was totally fine. The set list included a healthy mix of all three records, breaking up the evening nicely.

While I was used to and expecting “Where I Want To Be” to kick off the set, the darker “Catholic Girls” did. However, “Where I Want To Be” followed immediately after, lightening the mood and getting the crowd even louder. Both “Knives” and “Sins” carried the same intense and emotive feel live, with Ben Cato’s drumming sounding colossal on the former, giving it the fervent worship feel.

I admittedly was quite cautious about how frontman AJ Perdomo would sound due to what I’ve heard and read, it seems he can control the “raspy,” rougher quality of his voice very well live – he lets loose during tracks like “Knives” but keeps it cleaner on songs like “Sirens.” This worked great in the live setting, giving certain moments added intensity while making moments like the love-fueled “Miles Apart” and “No One’s Gonna Need You More” lighter and more personal. My only wish is that he did this more on Golden Record.

While the set whizzed by with minimal – if hardly any – talk from the band, they did throw in some nice fan favorites. “The Permanent Rain” had the entire small room at full volume, while “Of Confidence” showed off the musicianship of the crew, as Payne, Cato, and Kennedy each exercised their skill. As the set reached the end, the chimes of “But it’s worth it / To never feel alone” brought back memories rushing through me just as I’m sure it did for many others, until the final yells of “Work In Progress” brought the night to a triumphant close.

Even though Golden Record just wasn’t exactly what I needed right now, The Dangerous Summer have already crafted their place in my library. I think hearing the songs in the live setting works to the band’s advantage, as the mix of old and new cuts flows very well together. It’s a taste of everything. Not to mention despite having two new members, the musicianship of the band is top notch.

Whether you’re an old fan, casual listener, or just heard “Catholic Girls” and enjoyed it, this tour is definitely worth going to. The Dangerous Summer plays a great mix of material, while opener Tommy & The High Pilots heightens the bar for future live shows.
Catholic Girls
Where I Want To Be
The Permanent Rain
Miles Apart
War Paint
No One’s Gonna Need You More
Of Confidence
Northern Lights (can't remember order but they played it near end)
Never Feel Alone
Work In Progress
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