Finish Ticket with IRONTOM and Run River North
October 5th, 2016 at Brighton Music Hall
By: Jason Crouse
Just a few months after touring the nation as the opener for Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface Tour, Finish Ticket embarked on their own headlining tour, paying Allston a visit. With two opening acts preceding the headliner, the buildup to Finish Ticket’s set was long and ended up almost anticlimactic due to the quality of openers greatly exceeding expectations.
IRONTOM, a five-piece band from Los Angeles, took the stage promptly at 8 and drew the audience in with a combination of funky beats and a strange stage presence. The most appealing thing about IRONTOM, though, was the emotion of the lead vocalist Harry Hayes. He felt the music more intensely than anyone I have ever seen. His wacky but wonderful dance moves and facial expressions kept the crowd engaged and entertained for the entirety of the set.
Following IRONTOM was fellow California-based group, Run River North. RRN captivated the audience with their groovy bass-lines and abnormal instrumentation (an alternative band with a violinist always gets me excited). Seldom do I say that an opening act impressed me more than the headliner, but Run River North blew me away. Not only was I shocked by the sheer size of the group (six members is quite large for a band) but I also could tell that everyone on stage had an intense passion for the music they were playing. Every member performed with strength and confidence while having fun at the same time, which kept me dancing around and singing along for the entire set. I was even surprised to find that despite not knowing much of this band beforehand, I knew their song “Run and Hide” from listening to AltNation. The most impressive aspect of their performance overall, however, was the complexity and power of their harmonies. At one point, the six musicians were all playing different instruments while singing their own distinct harmonies. The resulting wall of sound from this intertwining of voices and instruments was stunning. That moment solidified that this was my favorite act of the night.
To close out the night, Finish Ticket was welcomed by wild applause from fans, some of whom had waited since 11AM just to ensure that they would get a spot at the barricade. Their heavy guitar riffs, synth-y keyboard melodies, and catchy vocals kept the crowd bopping around while the band created a sound best described as the intersection of Bad Suns and Walk the Moon. After playing a few original songs, Finish Ticket surprised the audience with a cover of “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” by the Arctic Monkeys. One of the best ways for a small band to impress an audience is to pull off a flawless yet unique and stylistic cover of a more popular band, and Finish Ticket was successful in their endeavor. As a huge Arctic Monkeys fan, this cover was the highlight of the set. Finish Ticket put on a fairly good show, but after being blown away by Run River North, I had high expectations for Finish Ticket, which were just not quite met despite the quality performance they presented.
If you were thinking about seeing Finish Ticket when they come back around, definitely do it — their songs were enjoyable and the show didn’t disappoint. However, when Run River North tours again, I strongly urge everyone to check them out and watch out for the things they have yet to come — there’s a lot of potential in this bunch.