It is often the case that an opening band is ignored. The crowd talks during the opener or doesn’t show up until after they have played. Almost everyone was present for the opener this time, most likely because an opener was not well publicized. Neither Ticketmaster or Songkick listed an opener. As a result, when Saints of Valory took the stage the crowd was without expectations. About halfway through the set they asked the crowd who had never heard of the band and almost everyone raised their hand. The lead singer smiled and said he believes they’ll be making a lot of new friends tonight.
One of the goals of PlaylistHQ is to familiarize concert goers with opening bands by automatically adding their songs to the playlists created for a show. However, it relies on the openers being publicized. Here’s hoping openers get more press in the future.
After a set break, the lights go dark and the band takes the stage. Phillip Phillips approaches the mic and says “Hello”. Every woman in the audience screams. The band consists of a trombone/trumpet player, cello, electric guitar, bass, keys, drums, and Phillips on acoustic. This is a very similar lineup to the Dave Matthews Band, and the similarities don’t end there. When he sings the chorus to Thicket, “Our love was just a dream, just a dream”, it felt like discovering Matthews’ lost twin.
A new song starts slowly with just the cellist playing. The cello grows to a crescendo and the band joins in. These slow builds lead to big payoffs. This is especially true in “Fly” when he finally reaches the chorus and proclaims, “Been trying to tell you what’s on my mind!” The band then launches into an excellent extended jam reminiscent of a DMB show. At one point during the jam, the stand up cello player drops to one knee and starts rocking the cello like a guitar.
Throughout the set, it was common to see ladies screaming, fans jumping up and down, and people running up and down the aisles. It was a fantastic set and everyone left with a smile on their face. Phillips could easily become as big as Dave Matthews and he is definitely talented enough to do it!