Story and Photo by Rob GrabowskiThe lights were dingy dim at The House of Blues last night as the stage was appropriately set for the dark vocal stylings of Days of the News' front man Travis Meeks. Shirt cast-off in favor of the bare-chested hard rock look, he stepped out with acoustic guitar dangling in hand and opened the show with the acoustically charged "Touch, Peel, and Stand" followed by the forward thinking "Words," a new song from the forthcoming album, Red slated to be released September 25th. The restless anger oozed out in the whiskey-laden voice of Meeks as he powerfully belted out such hits as "Shelf in the Room," "Weapon and the Wound" and "Downtown." The crowds' response was one of feigned acceptance. Perhaps Meeks was disappointed by the extremely small audience, and didn't have the heart or desire to perform at full throttle. He came across cold and disconnected and was constantly trying to find the glue to bring it all together. Musically, Meeks and his band were extremely tight with a tasteful blend of alternative rock and southern twang. The bass and two acoustic guitars explored subtle rhythm fills instead of just following the driving beats of the drums. Travis charged into their new song "Hang on to This" which had a urgent, upbeat feel that could very well be the signature song off of their new album.
The evening came to a close with a full fifteen-minute cover version of The Doors' "The End" in which Travis sang with the same drone that was popularized by the late Jim Morrison. Unfortunately, only a die-hard Doors fan would know what song he was doing. The take was rambling and confused. Probably not the best choice to end the show.
Days of the New have what it takes to be bona fide rock stars. They just have to remember getting there takes an undying passion and understanding that they can't always have it their way.
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