Excitement was heavy in the air on June 11th. Fans of Lancaster natives, She Pulled the Trigger, began lining outside of the Chameleon Club as early as 6 o’clock, even though doors did not open until 8. Across the street, the band’s EP, 10,000 Worlds Away could be heard as some fans tailgated the event. The EP, although only about a month old, contains a couple of songs that had been previously released. While listening closely, you can find some subtle changes in the re-released versions of your favorite SPTT songs as well as some new tracks to love.
The first track on the EP is a song that many SPTT fans will be more than familiar with. With a message about never giving up, “Stand up and Fight” takes the lead on the EP, and was first released back in 2015 as a single. Compared to the original version of the song, there are a few differences that really round out the sound of the EP version. One of the more noticeable differences of “Stand up and Fight” is lead guitarist’s, Patrick Kearney, background vocals. In the original version, Kearney’s vocals are gruff screams that add a primal sound to the track. Although the song was decent as is, the EP version provides a better sound. Kearney’s vocals in the EP version are less harsh sounding. His voice blends nicely with the instrumentals and complements lead singer, Chris Zell. Another difference found in the re-release of “Stand up and Fight” is the general quality of sound. Instrumental parts that were a bit fuzzy are now clear and precise.
If you pre-ordered 10,000 Worlds Away, then you would also be familiar with the next song on the EP. “Higher” reminds listeners that they are not alone. When you are “feeling low and feeling empty”, SPTT “can take you higher”. The song starts off with a thunderous entrance, followed by a guitar riff that changes the tone from heavy, to something more light. Just like their music, SPTT takes a dark theme and gives it a hopeful twist. This is emphasized not only in the guitar parts, but with the driving of the drums as well. It’s no wonder that “Higher” is a new fan favorite.
“Dying to Shine” is another song that was originally a single before being re-released on 10,000 Worlds Away. Like “Stand up and Fight”, the re-release is a cleaner and more balanced version. As the title suggests, this track is about the drive of wanting to be something; to “not be afraid to break away” in order to achieve your goals. Listeners can hear SPTT’s desire to shine, not only in the lyrics but also in the way that the song is put together. Kearney’s gruff screams make a brief appearance in the middle of the song, making a call and response with Zell. “Can’t stop me now.” “Won’t back down. Never surrender.” “Don’t let me down.” “Won’t back down. Never surrender.” This call and response from Kearney and Zell make the song all the more powerful by giving listeners firsthand, the band’s desire to shine.
In order to shine, one must start “Living on the Edge”. This next song is mind blowing. With three different tone changes in the first twenty seconds of the song, you know it’s going to be good. Zell’s vocals and lyrics are punctuated and emphasized with each instrument, especially during the verses. Taking risks is never easy, but they can be rewarding. In SPTT’s case, “Living on the Edge” is a risk that has definitely paid off.
A song tells a story. Out of every track on 10,000 Worlds Away, “Battle Scars” has the most story like quality. This particular story follows a soldier and his battle against PTSD. The song begins with a steady beating of the drums, almost reminiscent of a march. The drums are then joined by the guitars and bass, building power as they set the tone for the story that the lyrics are about to tell.
As the sounds of guitars and drums slowly faded away, the doors of the Chameleon Club opened. Once inside the venue, getting as close to the stage as possible was a top priority in order to have the best view of the bands. Though the view was shifted slightly towards stage right, the entire stage could be seen. It was as close to the musicians as anyone was going to get.
The first band to take the stage was Sunset Hollow. Having done some research on the opening acts, this band looked promising. The crowd took some time getting warmed up to the group, but eventually the crowd’s response seemed to heighten. Sunset Hollow’s newest single, “Pulling Teeth”, was by far the highlight of their set. The energy the band brought with them definitely set the bar high for the rest of the night.
Across Frozen Seas was the next band to perform. Like Sunset Hollow, the crowd had a hard time warming up to the group from Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Sunset Hollow’s vocals had a mixture of both singing and screaming, whereas Across Frozen Seas was straight screaming. Though vocalist, Matt Troutman, gave a theatrical and energized performance, the response from the crowd was not as high compared to Sunset Hollow.
Starting their set facing away from the crowd, Tomorrow Awaits was able to grab the audience’s attention right away. With synchronized head banging, this local band put as much energy into their stage presence as they did their music. Tomorrow Awaits’ vocals are as powerful as they are primal. Vocalist, Joe Kearney, has a unique sound that sets Tomorrow Awaits apart from the other bands of the night. Not only was his sound unique, but Kearney’s stage presence commanded the attention of the crowd. It was during Tomorrow Awaits’ set that the first mosh pit of the night was formed.
The last opener of the night, Ashes of Our Sins, pulled the crowd in before their set even started. During their sound check, guitarist Izzy Addams entertained the crowd with bits of “Let it Go”, the theme to “The Simpsons”, and other popular songs. Out of all the opening acts, Ashes of Our Sins had the most stage presence. You could see the love they have for performing in the way that they rocked out. The members of Ashes of Our Sins pulled out all of the tricks for their set. Not only was there synchronized head banging, there were also guitar spins, playing behind the head, speaker climbing, standing on the barrier, and great crowd interaction. Ashes of Our Sins is a band that leaves everything they have on the stage while having the time of their lives. They are able to connect with an audience from the very beginning. Even if the crowd is not familiar with their music, you can guarantee that they will still give a performance of a lifetime.
SPTT, the band everyone had gathered to see and celebrate with that night took the stage one-by-one. The set started with “Stand up and Fight” and went through the rest of their EP, 10,000 Worlds Away. As soon as SPTT began, the entire crowd roared. This was the moment they all waited for. Having seen SPTT perform back in December when they opened for Trapt and Fuel, the band owned the stage more so than they have before. This EP release show was their moment in the spotlight and each member of the band rose to the occasion. The crowd interaction was off the charts. Lead singer, Chris Zell even made the comment on stage that he was impressed that everyone was in tune when singing along with the band. Patrick Kearney stated that “The crowd was really great. They gave us a lot of energy. We just kind of came out hard, and we fed off their energy easily. It was just really fucking awesome.”
One of the most impressive moments of the night was Nick Zell’s drum solo. The other members of the band left the stage, giving the younger Zell brother his moment in the spotlight. Every beat that Nick played was intense and the crowd went wild. Nick later spoke with Flash Is Off about his solo and the rest of the night, “I did my best and I think we did really well. Even though there were some technical difficulties, I think we nailed it!”
Like all good things, the night sadly ended. As the set wrapped up, the crowd carried Chris from the front of the stage and to the back of the venue, all the way to SPTT’s merch table. Keeping up with the fun filled night, Chris attempted to sing “I Believe I Can Fly” as he was carried off. The rest of the band slowly followed and took time to sign autographs, talk to fans, and take pictures. Tyler Travis, the bassist for SPTT gave a quick thanks to all of the fans, “Thank you for the constant support from everybody, coming out, sticking through the bands, supporting all the bands. That’s exactly what it’s about. We thank you and love you guys.”
Nothing sums up the night better than the quote that AJ Lopez, rhythm guitarist for SPTT, gave Rock Documented: “It was really fucking awesome. End quote.” The show was definitely one to be remembered. SPTT is quickly taking off and 10,000 Worlds Away is only the beginning. They are obviously “dying to shine”, and even though the EP consists of only five songs, the band is able to take listeners on many different journeys with a constant theme. Hope. SPTT is going places and we can’t wait to see what they create next.