SafetySuit, an American alternative rock band from Nashville, Tennessee, played for an intimate crowd at U Street Music Hall in D.C. The band is comprised of four members – Doug Brown (vocals, rhythm guitar), Dave Garofalo (guitar), Jeremy Henshaw (bass) and Tate Cunningham (drums).
There’s nothing better than a show full of dedicated fans. One fan made the trek from North Carolina to D.C. for last night’s show. As she stood front row in anticipation for the band to take the stage, she shared her previous SafetySuit concert experiences and showed off her tattoo of SafetySuit’s logo on the back of her neck. It’s no surprise that SafetySuit has such a loyal fan base, as the band members are known on their previous tours for meeting fans and listening to their personal experiences. During their song, “The Moment,” they dedicated it to fan who just recently had her heart broken. Doug called out her ex by name and also took her phone and recorded himself and his band mates performing the song on stage.
My favorite moment from their set was during the song “Never Stop.” SafetySuit had received so many requests for “Never Stop” to be played at weddings, that they recorded an acoustic version just for weddings. Doug asked the crowd if there were any couples who had the song as their first dance song at their wedding, and many of them had. As they started to perform the song, it was as if the concert hall turned into a wedding reception. So many couples were slow dancing and kissing. Doug even gave the opportunity to the guys in the room that if they were planning to propose at their concert, this was the time to do it, though I don’t think any did.
It was a little surprising to see that their show didn’t sell out U Street Music Hall. While a not so crowded hall makes for a great atmosphere for a dedicated fan, it’s a little disappointing to see a passionate band that has opened for large notable acts like Parachute, Daughtry, The Script, and 3 Doors Down play at a small venue where the stage isn’t much higher than the floor. Seeing the members of SafetySuit try to rock out on such a cramped stage with all of their lighting and gear was a little nerve racking, especially when guitarist, Dave, would jump up in the air. But they made it work and put on a phenomenal show anyway. It would be great to see them play at 9:30 Club or another venue of that caliber when they come back to the D.C./Baltimore metro area. If a new album release is in their immediate future, I can see them climbing back onto the charts on Billboard and iTunes.
SafetySuit is known for their high energy live performances. Their set lasted an hour and a half and included songs from their first LP, Life Left to Go, released in 2008 to their recent single “Looking Up” with which they opened their set.
- Looking Up
- Something I Said
- Let Go
- Staring At It
- Numbers of Faith
- These Times
- The Moment
- Someone Like You
- Beat of Your Heart
- Get Around This
- Never Stop
- On Your Side
Supporting SafetySuit on their Winter Tour is Connell Cruise.
South African pop singer Connell Cruise wooed the crowd opening up the night. Connell performs by himself and plays keyboard while singing vocals. Knowing it was his first tour in America, it was surprising to see that some people in the crowd had heard of his music already. After hearing him sing, it wasn’t surprising at all. One concert goer said she came for just Connell, having just discovered him on Spotify. His first EP, Into The Wild, was released last year.
In South Africa, he gained popularity from his YouTube covers of popular American artists like “Hello” by Adele and “Wake Me Up” by Avicii. During his set, he covered a couple songs, including “Sorry” by Justin Bieber. The cover he was most excited to perform though was “Piano Man” by Billy Joel, stating it was perfect for the bar atmosphere of U Street Music Hall.
Nearing the end of his set, fueled by the fire of the excited crowd, Connell exclaimed, “Oh D.C. I think I’m in love with you!” Connell, I think D.C., and America, are in love with you too! Now a NYC resident, you will definitely be hearing more of this talented artist in the future.