On Friday, as I was leaving work heading to the Bowery Ballroom, I had a quick conversation with a co-worker about the band I was about to see, Rogue Wave. He told me that he usually didn’t enjoy the “hyped” bands du jour, but Rogue Wave was an exception and he had been constantly listening to their new album, Descended Like Vultures. I told him that I thought Rogue Wave was an easy band to like, as they didn’t sound like they were trying to change the world or create a new sound. The lack of any type of schtick or Arcade Fire endorsement doesn’t spoil the fact that front man Zach Rogue knows how to write pop songs that want to stay buried in your head for days after the first listen.
New York was freezing on Friday and the sold-out venue was packed well before Rogue Wave went on. Christmas lights decorated the band’s Fender amps and because I didn’t get to see the tree go up in Rockefeller Center, this was my official start to the holiday season. The band came out and opened with the first song off their new record, “Bird On A Wire.” Rogue's stage presence is as quietly endearing as his voice and the band’s relaxed sound was a perfect way to forget about the weather waiting for us outside.
Right after their opener, Rogue Wave played a few songs from their first album, Out Of the Shadow. I was excited to hear the audience respond so well to these songs, as I was a huge fan of the record and was looking forward to hearing songs like “Kicking the Heart Out” and “Endless Shovel.” Rogue then told the audience that he would be playing a few songs from their new record and proceeded to play songs like “Publish My Love” and “Catform.” I was glad to hear “Catform”, as I have had that song in my head ever since I saw the band perform in a tiny room at the University of Colorado.
Rogue Wave didn’t make any enemies at the show on Friday night even though their set was relatively short. Rogue’s voice has such familiarity in it that even though I was standing in a sold-out Bowery Ballroom crowd, I still felt like I was with the crowd of 25 people whom I had originally seen them with in Boulder. I left the show and as soon as I walked outside it didn’t seem as cold anymore. I wonder why….
Source: Jeff Thrope