Music Park: Burn it Up @ Villain & Saint — 11/11/16

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Burn It Up (Photo courtesy Earshot Media)

A lot of times when you see bands live, they don’t sound the same as they do on their albums. Either the sound mixing is off, or the singer’s voice isn’t quite what it sounds like on the recordings. Maybe the guitar’s a little out of tune. Burn It Up is not one of those bands.

Burn It Up consists of Joe Harmon  (vocals), Mike Frederick (guitars), Dan Carter  (bass), Justin Lloyd (trumpet), Evan Dobbins (trombone), and Alex Bochetto (drums). The band stopped at Villain and Saint in Bethesda this past Friday evening as they tour up and down the east coast promoting their latest album, “Toys”.

When I first heard this band, I was struck by the uniqueness of their sound. They are kind of a mix between ska, reggae, metal, and rock, among other things. They remind me a little of a band like Streetlight Manifesto. You can actually listen to their whole album on their website, but here are a few of their songs to get a taste of their sound.

I love that you can listen to their album on their website with an option to buy it. That’s the great thing about platforms like Bandcamp. A band like Burn It Up clearly enjoys creating music, and they want to share it with fans no matter what and if they choose to pay for it, then so be it. Also, they had $10 shirts! There’s not many places you can find a brand new t-shirt for $10, let alone from a kick-ass band!

I had never been to Villain and Saint before.  I wasn’t sure what to expect. I came in and was surprised that it looked more like a bar than a venue. The opening bands played, and I wondered if people would show up gradually to watch Burn It Up.

Unfortunately, this was not the case. By the time Burn It Up performed, there were possibly less people there than when I first got there. I noticed that there wasn’t anyone there JUST for the music. These small, intimate venues can be great, and it was not a bad experience Friday. I was just disappointed that there were not more people there to enjoy Burn It Up.

They would finish songs with almost no applause. Granted, the bar was pretty empty to begin with. I had a chance to chat with singer Joe and Justin for a few minutes after the show (one of the advantages of seeing a band in a small venue), and I mentioned the lack of audience. They didn’t really seem phased by it and based on their reaction to my question, I suppose that as a touring band you get used to this type of thing over the years.

All in all, this was an enjoyable show. There was not any “energy” in the crowd because there was no crowd. The sound of Burn It Up did not disappoint and their sound was great. I am glad I was able to be there Friday night, and I hope that more and more people will discover this band and check them out. I will continue to listen to this band. I can’t say that for every band that I cover. If you are reading this and have not heard of Burn It Up check them out. If you have, support them. They are a good band, simple as that. Check out their website at http://www.burnitupmusic.com.

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