JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

January 18, 2012
House of Blues - Orlando
Lake Buena Vista, FL USA
Review by Brittany Fornof
Photos by Nick Masuda

Rival Sons

Rival Sons Will Go Unrivaled

Rival Sons is the result of handing four young guys a couple of ascots, peacoats, the frustrations of the 21st century, and musical instruments. Creating a blues rock sound similar to roots rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, this retro band has a message that reads loud and clear: they are not the Backstreet Boys.

Hailing from L.A., Rival Sons engenders a rebel image laced with understated culture and eccentric style. With his long brown hair covering boyish face, vocalist Jay Buchanan explained to the crowd, "This is a song from where I came from."

"I come for revenge for my broken dreams," sand Buchanan. "I didn't come to wait tables or park limousines. I'm gonna burn down Los Angeles, burn down Los Angeles."

The band played songs off their latest album Pressure & Time, including "Gypsy Heart" and "Face of Light."

"So this is a song about...First and foremost holding on to something. Everybody's gonna try to tell you what you should be singing, but they don't know. You've got to find the one thing that makes you you."

And the band broke into adequately-named soulful serenade, "Soul."

Between layers of guitar rifts, drum upsets, and woeful vocal pleas, "Soul" was the most complex, yet crowd-pleasing song of the band's set. The drum-heavy blues rock song exemplified the band's musical abilities as well as their true roots.

"That's when the darkness comes to your loneliness," Buchanan lamented in his deep voice.

Tiling his head back and closing his eyes, Buchanan pleaded in his raspy voice, "Save that soul for me."

Seductive, moody, angry, sad--Buchanan pounded his chest and pleaded over and over again, "Don't give them your soul."

Begging, Buchanan cried out, "Save me." With a heavy, droning sound, Holiday's guitar answered with the same woeful inflection.

"You guys are a good audience," commented Buchanan. "But we know damn well who you came for."

Before leaving the stage, Rival Sons also performed "I Want More" from their first album Before the Fire (2009).

"Got me so confused," Buchanan exclaimed, throwing his hands towards his head.

With an itch in his step, Buchanan flicked his white boots up and shuffled backwards on the stage. A heavy cloud of red fog settles around Holiday as Buchanan crept through the mist.

"Told you once, told you twice," crooned Buchanan as he pointed his fingers towards the audience.

Buchanan doubled over, as a descending cadence cascaded from Holiday's guitar, and drummer Mike Miley attacked his set in conclusion.

"Thank you Orlando," shouted Buchanan.

Giving a performance that was so magnificently infused with individuality and tastefully out of sync with the themes and styles of modern alternative rock, Rival Sons exemplified all that they were capable of. Fairly new to the music scene, Rival Sons won't be leaving anytime soon...as long as the barren, robotic music industry doesn't leech their soul from them. Hold on to your guitars, boys. It's going to be a long ride.