Words and Photos by Sean O’Day
Remo Drive showed up to Lakewood on the third day of their headlining tour to promote their most recent release Natural, Everyday Degradation. I first listened to Remo Drive a couple of years ago when so many people, music critics included, were talking about their last full-length Greatest Hits. I loved it! Despite the album sounding a bit like a rough draft, it was immediately forgiven with the catchy chorus and a swooning voice that only vocalist Erik Paulson can produce. This was going to be my first time seeing them ever, so I was expected to hear a lot of newer songs tonight.
I got into the actual venue where the bands will be playing, and the decor looks like it came straight from the ’80s. If you’re not familiar with Mahall’s in Lakewood, it’s a bowling ally. You can bowl before you perform or before the show starts. It’s pretty amazing! But I haven’t been there in a very long time, so I walked into the main venue, and it looked more ’80s than it did the last time I showed up. There are platforms with lights and mirrors for people to stand on to watch the show.
As Remo Drive comes to the stage, I notice they have these amazing yet bright lamps on stage. As soon as they started, the crowd went nuts! As predicted, they played a lot of newer songs like “The Devil,” “Dog,” and “Mirror.” Those songs come to mind the most because they sounded so good! There were so many songs that I knew by Remo Drive, but they made me an even bigger fan by how amazing they sounded live. Erik’s voice sounded just like the actual recording, and that’s very rare to say today. There were a few songs where I just watched the drummer Sam because of how impressive it was.
Between a few songs by the end of their set, they were doing small covers by bands like Bullet for my Valentine, Slipknot, and Dave Matthews Band. Knowing this band you’d know that their sound is more of an indie/emo sound, so hearing them go far beyond that realm is excellent. Stephen even asked if there were any Bullet for my Valentine fans out in the crowd after Erik did a “Scream Aim Fire” cover and so many people raised their hands! Remo Drive came back out for an encore set, they did about two more songs, and in between singing “Yer Killing Me” Erik started doing a guitar riff from an older Vampire Weekend song. At that moment, I just knew that their music taste was all over the place, and it was great to see them mix it up for the show. Overall, the night was wild, it was smooth, and best of all, it was fun. You can stream Natural, Everyday Degradation and everything else by Remo Drive now. This tour is just getting started. Catch them near you now, and maybe they’ll do a short cover of your favorite song!