The valley looks a little bit different for a Saturday night as hundreds of side-fringed pop-punk and rock music lovers descend upon the PCYC for On The Pulse.
Kicking off the small and intimate Red Octopus stage is local The Electro Kid. Staying true to the name, 17-year-old frontman Giles has a robotic/Auto-Tune-ish sound effect on his voice for the duration of the set, leaving you wondering what it actually sounds like, uncloaked.
The vibe definitely suits the intimate environment as Starlight Theatrebring a complete change of atmosphere. Playing an unrehearsed acoustic set (with their drummer watching from the crowd), the band look and sound like veterans compared to their predecessors. Bringing the Red Octopus up to tempo, Pandora’s Hero come out rocking; the room is up on its feet for the first time, apathetic youth no defence against their on-stage charisma. With an EP fresh out on iTunes, the boys make their new songs shine.
Down at the main stage Gold Coasters Nine Sons Of Dan kick off their set with their drummer going absolutely crazy to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem, the rest of the band joining him with the same high energy. The boys performed at the Indy 600 earlier in the day and say it’s nice to play to be in front of people who know and appreciate their music.
The Never Ever are up next and despite spending a chunk of time fiddling with their sound, when finally underway they bring a unique touch to the festival. Labelling themselves as ‘power-pop’ the band retain a techno/electro base to each song, even rocking out on a keytar on occasion.
Showing everyone how it’s done, Californian band Rufio bring a touch of professionalism to the day’s proceedings. With no side-fringes to be seen, their energetic performance never wavers, remaining powerful and on-message. In this reviewer’s opinion, these guys should be the headliners.
But it’s Tonight Alive who step up as the final act tonight, as confident and natural as ever. With a simple “How you doin’? We’re Tonight Alive,” from the band’s lead singer Jenna McDougall, the crowd is under a spell, singing along to every word.
As the night draws to conclusion, and parents line up waiting for the all ages crowd to disperse, everyone shuffles out with a smile on their face and a new list of bands to add to their iTunes libraries.