Set it Off and Tonight Alive brought their Fight for Something Tour to Irving Plaza for a sold out show and what promised to be a fun filled night for all involved. Out supporting the two groups for the tour were The Ready Set and Say We Can Fly.
SayWeCanFly was up first to warm up the crowd who’d arrived early. The venue had filled up quickly with a crowd that had been lined up around the block hours before doors. The group kicked off the evening with “Darling” the title track from the 2015 EP released on Epitaph Records. Next up was “Song of the Sparrow” from the 2015 full length release Between the Roses which seemed to be very well known by the crowd. Many of the fans who lined the barricade were singing along emphatically throughout the group’s set. Frontman Braden Barrie is best known for his strong internet presence which has certainly helped him to amass a dedicated fan base over the last year. Barrie and company carried into another song from his Darling EP, “When I Come Home.” From there he carried on into another favorite from his last full length album, “The Distance That Took You Away”. SayWeCanFly finished out the set strong with “Driftwood Heart” from Darling and “Intoxicated I Love You” from Heaven is Hell (2013). Fans really seemed to enjoy the group’s closing song as they were singing along from start to finish with “Intoxicated I Love You.”
Next up was a group that has been known for putting on an exciting and energizing set and this evening would be no different. Recent Hopeless Records signee The Ready Set, is made up of singer Jordan Witzigreuter and a backing band when on tour, took the stage with “Higher.” The song was the first off his most recent full length album, The Bad & The Better, released on Razor & Tie Records. The group carried on into arguably the most popular song The Ready Set has released, “Love Like Woe.” As expected the sold out crowd sang along to every word of the top 15 charting pop song, alongside Witzigreuter. From there they carried into a new song “Disappearing Act” and “Good Enough,” which will be released on I Will Be Nothing Without Your Love in April of this year on Hopeless Records. Also in the set was an older favorite, “Killer” from Feel Good Now which was a special treat for seasoned fans of the group. The Ready Set closed out the set with another song that was guaranteed to get the entire crowd engaged, “Give Me Your Hand.” This song has been a fan favorite since its release back in 2012 when it charted top 30 on the US Pop chart. Its popularity with listeners across various genres along with it upbeat tempo made it an excellent song to close with.
Tonight Alive was slated to go third for this show; the anticipation in the crowd could be felt all throughout the venue. The Australian natives took the stage to a new song, “To Be Free” from their album Limitless which had just premiered the day before the show. Fans had clearly been listening to the songs from Limitless on repeat since their release as they were singing along verbatim from the very start of “To Be Free.” From there the five-piece carried on into some older favorites that have become staple songs for Tonight Alive over the years, “The Fire” and “The Ocean.” Both tracks have resonated strongly with fans both on the album and in particular at live performances since The Other Side was released in 2012. “The Ocean” showcases frontwoman Jenna McDougall’s vocal range and power particularly well which makes it a special song to hear live. Four songs into their set and Tonight Alive already had the audience thoroughly captivated with an electric stage presence and an infectious energy that the group brings to the stage every show and production to match their energy level, a first on this tour. Tonight Alive had co2 and lights to match the mood of every song which amplified their already wonderful stage presence.
The group slowed things down for a few songs with a midtempo song followed by two acoustic songs. “Bathwater” was a perfect lead into acoustic versions of “Complexes” and “Safe & Sound.” The song takes on a more somber tone and allows the lyrics to carry the song instead of the usual upbeat and high tempo songs that make up most of the group’s setlist. “Complexs” and “Safe & Sound” are also driven by strong lyrical content more than high energy performances, which is why stripping them down into acoustic performances gives a perfect opportunity to focus on vocals and the meaning of the songs. Tonight Alive started to pick things back up with a new track, “Human Interaction.” McDougall took some time to speak to the crowd about how much this new release means their continued support means to the band. She also spoke sometime to speak about the positive message that Limitless embodies and how important it is for each person in the room to strive to be their best and work towards what makes them happy.
The group got back to their full energy performance with “The Edge” and “Wasting Away” next. They had the entire crowd singing along and off their feet as expected. They always bring a charismatic stage presence that encourages both seasoned fans and those new to the Tonight Alive fanbase together. Tonight Alive also showcased “Drive” and “How Does it Feel” from Limitless, both of which seemed to resonate strongly with fans. “How Does it Feel” takes on the edgier feel of older Tonight Alive which certainly caught the attention of older fans. They closed out their incredible performance with the one song a Tonight Alive set would not be complete without, “Lonely Girl” which never fails to bring everyone in the audience together.
Set it Off was up last and the crowd was more than ready for them to take the stage by the time the lights had dimmed and the entrance music began. The group’s setlist consisted entirely of new songs from their most recent releases, Duality (2014) and Duality: Stories Unplugged (2015) both released on Equal Vision Records and with one old song and a new take on an older favorite from their 2012 full length release, Cinematics mixed in. Much like co-headliner Tonight Alive, Set it Off have created a strong fanbase over the years for themselves through an incredible stage presence that has grown along with the group since their start. They’ve always taken the stage as performers ready to captivate an audience regardless of who the crowd was there to see. This command of the stage and crowd was amplified on this tour in particular as it was their biggest headliner to date, and the crowd was there for them, which they all truly seemed to feed off of. They kicked things off with the energetic, “Forever Stuck in Our Youth” from Duality. As expected the took the stage with a bang in the form of bursts of co2 and high flying jumps from frontman Cody Carson and guitarist Dan Clermont. Next up was “Ancient History” and “The Haunting” also from Duality. Both songs continued to build up the energy in the sold out crowd only to be slowed down for the next song.
“Wild Wild World”, the only new track from Duality: Stories Unplugged, was another moment of the set that stood out because of the song’s very positive message and strong lyrical content. Set it Off is a band that has always been dedicated and committed to their fans both on social media and in person which makes this song all the more powerful because their message is genuine and heartfelt. That makes this strong extremely popular at live shows among both new fans and seasoned fans alike. Some favorites from Duality that made of the middle portion of Set it Off’s set were “N.M.E”, “Duality” and “Bleak December.”
A very special moment of the set came with two songs that were created with the purpose of linking together, “Dream Catcher” and “Tomorrow.” “Dream Catcher” was the only song played from Cinematics in its original form which alone was a standout moment of the set but even more so because the song and spurred the creation of “Tomorrow” on Duality. The idea to use this very popular and uplifting song from their previous album as the inspiration and lead into another song with a equally inspirational and uplifting message was quite unique and certainly brings older and newer Set it Off fans together in a unique way. Once again the band is using the platform they have created through their music to reach out to those who support them. They encourage fans to chase after their dreams through “Dream Catcher” to create the “Tomorrow” they want for themselves which makes for an extremely powerful moment at shows. The group closed out their regular set with “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” which had the entire crowd singing along empathically and engaged from start to finish.
When the lights dimmed and Set it Off exited the stage the crowd began to chant for an encore, screaming “Set It Off” in unison until the group returned to the stage. They spoke about how special and important the show was to them because they remembered playing Santos Party House years earlier to a much smaller crowd and mentioned how thankful they were for everyone that has been supporting them through the years. They played a new take on an old favorite, “Swan Song” and their most popular song from Duality “Why Worry” and ended the night with more energy both on stage and in the crowd than there had been at any other part of the evening.
The Fight for Something Tour was quite a special tour because it showcased two up and coming bands co-headlining an incredible evening of music along with two smaller acts that have been working to make a name for themselves and create a solid fan base. It was a wonderful moment to see such a successful New York City show for two bands that have been touring continually and pushing to amass a strong following since their creation. Be sure to grab tickets to the end of the tour and keep and eye out for what all four bands having coming soon!