Krazee Kafe in Des Moines, Iowa kicked off its first event for the venue’s Bike Night Concert Series on April 11, 2013 with Another Lost Year headlining, and local act Brutal Republic opening. The venue is known to have one of the largest bike nights in the state of Iowa; this year is its first attempt at incorporating a concert series. But with the outside cold conditions, the question was if the event would pull in people, bikers or not.
Another Lost Year tours the midwest area frequently, even though they are based in North Carolina, but it was their first time playing Krazee Kafe, another factor that predictably could affect turnout.
Opening band Brutal Republic started around 8:30 PM with about 30 people in the bar, none of them arrived on bikes. The crowd was responsive to the band – shouting during and after each song – but most people hung out at tables at the back or stood on the side against the wall.
Another Lost Year casually walked on to the stage about 10:00 PM, and opened their set. By this time the crowd count had increased to about 50, and more than half of that crowd was standing in front of the stage. A row of people in the front were sporting Another Lost Year t-shirts. While it was the band’s first time playing at this venue, clearly a segment of their fanbase had followed them there.
Vocalist Clinton Cunanan had a dirty rocker look, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt that said “Got Weed,” with his black hair looking a bit greasy and disheveled. Cunanan’s unique gritty, somewhat raspy vocals were enticing to listen to. Adam Hall (guitar) and Jason Lovelace (bass) contributed some backing vocals on most songs, but for the most part you really wish they wouldn’t. Their less than perfect vocals override the sound of Cunanan’s. This band’s frontman has vocals strong enough to carry it all and he’s who you really want to hear, making songs that relied less on the backing vocals more enjoyable to listen to. But both Hall and Lovelace contributed some fun screaming vocals in songs like Better Days, which were much more suited to their vocal abilities. The cleaner, crisper, more solid vocals should be left to Cunanan.
Cunanan is a dynamic frontman; he’s great at interacting with the crowd, and is particularly flirtatious with the female portion. He appeared to have a few enthralled with him. He makes direct, sustained eye contact with his fans (mostly the female ones), smiling, moving in closer and singing directly to them. The crowd seemed responsive, and drawn in by his constant attention focused on them.
Another Lost Year played their debut album, Better Days, in its entirety, including their newest #1 hit on iHeartRadio, Writing On The Wall. The crowd was the most responsive to the song War On The Inside, which previously held the #1 spot for more than 200 days on iHeartRadio before being replaced by Writing On The Wall. War On The Inside also made the Sirius XM Octane BIG UNs List for five weeks straight. It is the most well-known Another Lost Year Song, and it was clear everyone knew and loved the song, with the majority of the crowd shouting out the lyrics. Before singing War On The Inside Cunanan explained to the crowd that its lyrics were influenced by his battle with drug addiction and losing his mom.
Another Lost Year also threw a cover song into the mix. The band frequently covers the song, You Be The Hero, by Joan Red, a Memphis, TN band. Joan Red’s singer, Anthony Basurto, unexpectedly and suddenly died in 2011 of unknown causes at the age of 26. Another Lost Year feels this is a way to carry on his name and his music. You Be The Hero fits in well with not only Cunanan’s voice, but has a similar feel to Another Lost Year’s other songs; it really sounds like it belongs to them.
While the weather affected the bike night turn out, and potential exposure to a new fanbase, the crowd that came out got a great live show. The next time Another Lost Year returns, those in attendance that night will surely bring a few friends back with them.
Watch the video for War On The Inside
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