The nice thing about a small venue is you have a real close and intimate feel with the band. That was how it was Friday night with Rivals.
From the outside The Kingsland doesn’t look like much. There wasn’t even a sign at least not one I could find. Once inside, the space is bigger than it appears. You walk into a cozy warmly lit bar about 10 feet wide. To the left stools line the bar. On the right were tables covered with merch of the bands playing that night. Past the bar is a door leading to a decent sized show room.
Due to the Friday night traffic we got there in time to see the tail end of the group Wild Planes. The New York group had an appealing pop/indie rock that was enjoyed by the crowd that got there early to see the show.
Next up was Bay Area artist Josh Lambert. He had an interesting mix of music. He has a pop punk sounds that mix hip hop pop rock. I was engaged with his enthusiasm and zeal. He had knack for getting the crowd into his music. He has a good stage presence and I especially enjoyed the song he did with Rival’s bassist Sebastian Clarke and drummer Josh Alves.
Ashland was the last band before the headliners to take the stage. They were a female and male vocalist led pop rock group from Illinois. They had a positive message with a catchy and harmonic sound.
These venues are the best for feeling like a part of the festivities. There is no pop and circumstance of bouncers, photo pits, or a wide barrier between you and the band. It’s up close and personal intimate venue like you’re in a friends basement feeling like a part of the scene.
And that is exactly how it felt on Friday night when Rivals played.
When Rivals took the stage they opened with the powerful “Alkaline” off their latest album Sad Looks Pretty On Me. They played a number of songs off the album along with some older fan favorites that the crowd sang along with.
Listening to the album brought goosebumps and emotion. When played live these effects were multiplied. Their music has a dynamic earth-shattering effect on you standing there taking it all it.
There is so much raw emotion in the music. The melding of pop melodies with rock and post-hardcore crescendos along a backdrop of electronic beats culminate together for an awesome experience.
Every song was electrified and you could feel the love and energy in the room. There is something so wonderful about these smaller intimate shows that make you feel part of the experience.
Vocalist Kalie Wolfe commanded the stage with her hypnotic performance and soulful vocal stylings. She is is a powerhouse on stage and delivers such beautiful strong vocals.
The band was nice enough to do an encore to the crowd’s plea. They also stayed to chat with fans after the show.
Rivals bring something everyone can enjoy. I can’t wait to see them live again. Hopefully it will be soon.