Hellogoodbye w/ The Ecstatics – Concert Review

Hellogoodbye w/ The Ecstatics
Crystal Ballroom
02.13.2014

IMG_5342The latest installment of 94/7’s 94 cent I Saw Them When series was a throwback to the 2000’s. Hellogoodbye took the stage at the Crystal on Thursday night, with young openers, The Ecstatics, to give the sold out crowd a show worth every penny… yes, every 94 of them.

As Yume (@pretentiouspdx) tweeted, it seemed like everyone over the age of 25 was thrilled to see Hellogoodbye, while the under 25-ers  were super pumped for the opening band. I say both had their reasons, and both were satisfied.

The night opened with Portland local band, The Ecstatics. They were, as their name suggests, ecstatic. The two main members and minds behind the group, Quincy and Eli, are a mere 18 and 19 years old, and they perform with the experience and energy of a band who’s been at the helm of it all for years.

You know that kind of awkward phase at the beginning of shows where the band is kind of getting used to the crowd, and the crowd them, before everyone really gets into it? They completely skipped that. As soon as they hit the stage, they had the audience by the throat, screaming and jumping and dancing. This band performs with probably the most energy I’ve ever seen at a live show. They meet, if not surpass, Dale Earhardt, and that’s a hard thing to do.

Lead singer Eli took the whole stage as what almost seemed like a place of exercise, running back and forth from end to end, stopping only to jump some more or do some high-knees while belting into the mic. It was so much fun to watch, you just have to see it to know what I’m talking about.

After The Ecstatics had the audience head-over-heels for them, and probably after the best workout of the week for me, Hellogoodbye took the stage to the pleasure of the 25+ side of the crowd.

For me, Hellogoodbye just seemed a little slow and tired after the force of The Ecstatics, but after one or two tracks, I got into the groove of it. It all hit it’s peak at the seemingly audience favorite, and classic Hellogoodbye song, Here (In Your Arms). Audience members of the correct age told me, “If this wasn’t your jam in middle school, I don’t know where you were.”

Not in middle school, is my answer. But I appreciated the track all the same. The track, off the album Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!, is very electronic, using a healthy amount of vocal distortion. It works nicely. And of course, the band closed the night with the latest release of the latest album, (Everything Is) Debatable. Personally, I like the bands earlier tracks better, but it was good as well.

Overall, I think The Ecsatics really stole the show, but it just may be the fact I’m under 25 talking. If you missed the show, you’ll be glad to know that Hellogoodbye announced a return to the Hawthorne Theater in the future, and I will keep you up to date on any further announcements on that. And I highly recommend checking out The Ecstatics at Mississippi Studios, opening for Wampire, on March 29th. You can get tickets here! You can bet I’ll be there for both!

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