Sunday, January 30, 2011
Review: People on Vacation debuts in Dallas (January 29)
The band is new, but both members are Dallas music veterans. And they'll go far.
DALLAS People on Vacation has played only two shows (both outside of DFW) prior to the Saturday night gig in the Cambridge Room of the House of Blues in Dallas. And they haven't even released their debut album. But thanks to word of mouth and social networking, the band played to a venue full of people who were curious to hear anything other than what the band has released on their website. Some local bands are hard-pressed to do all those things even after years of gigs.
The buzz surrounding People On Vacation has been growing since the announcement that two local music heavy weights would collaborate and quickly launch a UK tour in 2011. Made up of Ryan Hamilton, one half of local indie duo Smile Smile, and Jaret Reddick, the lead singer of the Grammy nominated pop rock band Bowling For Soup, the question was: Can the band deliver on stage? Can they back up the reputation that precedes them?
Hamilton had already expressed in an earlier interview with Pegasus News that he wasn't sure how the band was going to work out since both he and Reddick come from very different musical backgrounds: Hamilton’s musical background is in the low-fi indie persuasion and Reddick’s is from the pop/rock genre. The differences between the two stack up, but on-stage, the band had more cohesion than expected.
It was clear when Reddick had a hand in lyric writing, because most tracks had catchy choruses that were easy to sing along to. In fact, many fans already knew the words or were already picking up on the simple-yet-catchy hooks. When the songs were on a more simple and emotional side, Hamilton shined and pushed the duo lyrically with his simplicity.
Even their singing seemed to fit together unusually well. Oftentimes they would harmonize or just trade versus or songs. Reddick’s pop-punk voice balanced with Hamilton’s subdued and refined voice, and they complemented each other. It felt as though they both had an equal influence on where People On Vacation is going musically.
Their chemistry and onstage banter seemed as if both Hamilton and Reddick had been performing together for years, although both members made it clear that Saturday night’s performance was their third ever. Reddick joked that he was afraid he would forget the words and that he carried his own amp – something he might have not had to do during his former band’s glory days. Hamilton took loving jabs at Reddick’s pop music past, but would get made fun of in return for being in an indie band.
Their indie-pop rock hybrid was a crowd pleaser, and People On Vacation are set to live up to the hype that has been surrounding them. It doesn't matter that this was just their third show; People On Vacation are poised to rule the local scene here in Dallas and even beyond. Their debut record will be released sometime this summer.
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