Nate screamed until his veins became tumescent ropes squirming their way to the surface of his neck as a sea of hair the various shades or blue, purple, red and black bobbed up and down with encouragement from the band.
Opening at 7 p.m. for Story of the Year, who played at 10 p.m., it’s no wonder why fans weren’t feeling inspired through I Am King’s first few songs, but the crowd started to get a little rambunctious near the end of the set.
“I just wanted to get them pumped up,” Nathan Newhard said. “I’m a screamer, so it’s kind of my job.”
I Am King released their first album last week and sold it at the show, along with their EP.
The six-man band is currently on tour, scheduled to make stops in Tampa, Fla. then they are headed to Atlanta, Georgia, then Baltimore, Mass. and they finally get to rest in their hometown of Pennsylvania.
“We literally sleep in a Wal-Mart parking lot every night. We’re living our dream, but sometimes we just want to shower,” Newhard said.
Their music is reminiscent of the music produced in the early 2000s. Their song “Julia,” for example, is a mixture of pop, punk, post-core nu-metal and hip hop as a short rhythm session emerges through the body of the drummer, Tito Rivera, in the middle of the song. Pairing the genre’s signature double-kicks with a few electronic bass beats, the breakdown comes as a surprise after you’ve become accustomed to the whining dismay of a lovestruck teenage boy belting his heart out to anyone who’s willing to listen.
Then you hear a song like “Crash,” which combines aggressive, almost frightening, vocals cushioning intermittent verses depicting the story of our singer’s loss. There is a ton of imagery throughout this song, when our antagonist puts on her jacket and leaves, the main character submits his body to the ocean and gives into the cold. Could this be a reference to Senses Fail‘s “Rum is for Burning, not for Drinking?”
Rivera’s listed Senses Fail as one of his influences.
He said the female body provides inspiration for his music, but despite the angst evinced through his music, he also believes that unwarranted hate should be abolished from society today.
“If you keep your head up, things will be all right,” Rivera said.
As of this year, the new generation of punk rockers has a bigger chance of getting into their favorite shows than they may have 10 years ago. One girl won tickets to the show from a contest on Twitter. Another music buff, and fan of Story of the Year, Matt Fugina, also won tickets from Rollins College radio station, 91.5 WPRK.
“I came to see Story of the Year, but these guys were pretty good,” said Fugina, speaking about I Am King.
With 30,000 fans on Facebook and a record contract with Velocity, this band is starting off on the right foot.
“It was definitely worth it to play the show,” bass player Jake Tacker said. “You’re in a different city every day, so it’s always an adventure.”
Lead guitarist Dan Artim said, “I can’t wait to see what happens in another two years.”