Walking into the Borderline this evening you’d be forgiven for thinking that -considering the size of the crowd- the headlining act was about to begin. But it’s only 7:30pm and the first support hasn’t started, and already the place is thronging. You can barely manoeuvre your way to the bar from one side of the crowd to the other without a few dozen ‘excuse me’s and ‘sorry’s, but nobody really cares because they’re all eagerly awaiting the person who is set to kick start the evening of acoustics and banter, and boy does he ever!
Sam Russo is the first to take the stage, and he does so with a wonderful energy, it’s easy to see why he’s first on the bill. He gets everybody fired up using upbeat jams and slow melodies accompanied with a voice that could melt your heart. In between tunes his interaction with the crowd is great, he seems to ooze confidence and wit, and makes it very clear that he’s a Cambridge lad, and most definitely not from Oxford, much to the crowd’s enjoyment!
Up next and with a roaring welcome staggers Brendan Kelly, bassist of Chicago’s The Lawrence Arms. He introduces his first song with a story about fatherhood, how uncool he is now because he’s a dad, and in a bid to regain his former coolness, wrote a song about chopping up kids (all in the name of comedy we assure you!) and thus plays Suffer the Children, Come Unto Me. Brendan Kelly’s notoriously rough voice instantly comes into play and everyone’s loving it. Again as with Sam, Brendan has a great rapport with the crowd, everyone’s buzzing from sing-alongs and the Warped Tour jokes and having an amazing time, and that only gets better when Sam reappears, and Dan Andriano of The Alkaline Trio makes his entrance. Dan and Brendan have been in a band together called The Falcon for some time now, and announced that Sam would be joining them as their supporting guitarist, and gave us a glorious taste of what we could be expecting from them in the future.
After Sam and Brendan have left, Dan is left with the stage as he prepares for his set. The place is ripe with anticipation, waiting for what he will play first. And then it begins. Alkaline Trio’s Every Thug Needs A Lady is the opener. You could almost see the butterflies bursting from everyone’s chests it were so beautiful. The entire set was serene. Dan has a voice like no other. He has more soul than a church choir, it’s like an ice cold glass of whiskey on a summers day. He graces us with other Alkaline Trio classics such as Crawl and Blue Carolina, but this night is his, and stunning renditions of I Remember A Rooftop and This Light make the bill too. He finishes up with From This Oil Can, a song that would take your breath away to listen to it on record, but to hear it played live must be considered a dream.
The show was absolutely incredible. Sam, Brendan and Dan have a wonderful chemistry and it will be exciting to keep a close eye on The Falcon with the three of them working on it together. Sam Russo is definitely someone to look out for so keep your eyes peeled!
Words and photos by: Gemma Denise