May 3, 2014, is the day that I decided to drive 586 miles (give or take a few) in 10 hours (give or take an hour or so) to New Haven, Connecticut, to see a live Chaser Eight show. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. Period.
I first introduced you to Chaser Eight just over a year ago in March 2013 (Chaser Eight ft *AUDRA*).
(Editor's note: This was actually the second time that lead singer *AUDRA* made it onto MY Indie Music Blog. She was originally featured in my January 2013 post The Women of Indie Music.) At the time, I had been digging into their sound for just a couple of months, but in all honesty, I was already hooked on them. I was already the proud owner of their debut EP Late Night Companions, and had started to throw support their way thru Twitter. By the time their next EP, Up and Up came onto the scene, I was well on my way to becoming the #Crazy8 that I am today.
Now that we've had 6 months or so of At the 426 under our belts, I figured it was about damn time that I made my way down to their neck of the woods to experience Chaser Eight live and in person. To say that I was impressed is the understatement of the century. My buddy and I got to the bar, Stella Blues, a bit early. I finally got to meet the band before the night's festivities began. First was *AUDRA* and their manager, Doug Grabowski, then guitarist Pat Walsh, bass player Billy Wang and drummer Pete Giannini (keyboardist/guitarist Aaron Tagliamonte showed up later. I unfortunately didn't get a chance to be introduced to him.). One of the things that sets most indie artists that I've met apart from their mainstream contemporaries is their accessibility. They are always grateful for the support that is shown to them. They truly appreciate you coming out to see them and are genuinely happy to meet their fans. Chaser Eight lived up to this and then some! We had a nice chat with both Pat and Pete before their set began, then I had a good talk with Audra afterwards. She was interested in my take on their set. So let me share it with you as well!
I've heard the band explain their sound on more than one occasion. What they hope to accomplish in their recordings is to capture the energy of their live show. After seeing them, I finally get it. Several weeks ago, I was invited by the band to have somewhat of a hand in the recording of their new album (which they are currently in the studio recording). This was a first for me and I am more than honored to have them regard me in such a way that they let me listen to their recorded demos to see what I would like to hear on the new album. Songs such as 8 AM, On Top, Major and Minor and Just Ride are going to turn the world of indie music over on its collective ear! Hearing polished live versions of these songs has me amped for the new album!!! Throw those in with songs like Never Enough and Run, Run and I was given the ride of my life at Stella Blues! I told Audra after their set that what impressed me the most was the power of their performance. Most artists, indie and mainstream alike, put everything they have into their recordings. When it comes to their stage performance, the energy doesn't translate the same. I don't know if it's a producer slicking up the sound in the editing room that sets us up for a mild disappointment with the live product, or if they're just not capable of reproducing what they did in the studio, but there is absolutely NO drop off with Chaser Eight! From start to finish, this was one of the most genuine sets I've ever had the pleasure to witness. I was surprised when Audra admitted to me that she lost her voice halfway thru their set. I damn sure didn't pick up on it! Musically, there isn't a band out there that can touch them. Pat Walsh is a monster on the strings. Billy and Pete know how to bring the thunder and Aaron tickling the ivories adds a unique mix to a true rock n roll vibe. Audra is the ultimate front woman. Her vocals were spot on with her full (and rather impressive) range on display.
Way back in 1993, I had the pleasure of seeing Pearl Jam live in Dallas. While their styles are quite different (and while I almost NEVER compare indie artists to manistream acts), Chaser Eight is right on par with Pearl Jam when it comes to their stage performance. Their collective hearts and souls were left right there on the Stella Blues stage for all of our listening pleasure that night. For this, I want to say thank you Chaser Eight. You officially rock my ever loving rock n roll soul... and I'll see you again real soon!
This is a bootleg recording of a full set Chaser Eight performed in April of 2013 opening for London Souls. It's pretty damn close to just as awesome as my first experience. Enjoy!!!
The official Chaser Eight website
Are you a Crazy 8?
*Crazy 8: n. 1. A person that is extremely enthusiastic about the music Chaser Eight produces and is invested or committed to their success.
2. You're a fan.
I am. For life.
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