Editor’s Note: This is a guest-written review submitted by Conant High School (Illinois) student Becca Rosano.
The date? April 16th, 2010. The spot? House of Blues, Chicago. The headliners? None other than The Gentlemen themselves. We’d be surprised if you said you haven’t heard about them yet. After completing a full summer tour opening for The Jonas Brothers, being signed by Jonas Records, and then releasing their own full length album, these boys have become the next big thing on the music scene. If you still don’t know who we’re referring to, say it with us, “Honor Society.” The band is currently on their second headlining tour, which was titled after a track on the album, “Here Comes Trouble”. To balance out the four males in Honor Society, they added ‘Just Kait’ and ‘Ashlyne Huff’ as their opening acts. Both girls brought completely different sounds, but neither disappointed.
The show began with Just Kait. She provided an upbeat, edgy sound. One could call her a younger and more current Avril Lavigne. She played songs off her EP ‘Being on TV’. After a couple fast paced songs, Kait slowed it down with an acoustic cover of Paramore’s “The Only Exception”. Fans all around the venue sang along and waved their lit up electronics as Kait brought her own interpretation to the song. Then, switching back to her own original style, she played her cover of Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff”. Before beginning, she talked about how her take of this classic was picked for the movie “Turn the Beat Around”. She took a very well-known song and put her own special twist on it. She closed with the crowd favorite and her newest single, “Sick”, which has been widely accepted by her fans, along with major music outlet MTV. We can expect big things from this powerhouse in the future.
Taking the stage next was newcomer Ashlyne Huff, who could’ve fooled anybody watching into thinking she was a veteran by means of her stage presence alone. Hailing from Nashville, she reminds us of an older and more pop based Jordan Pruitt. She began her set with a few songs off of her soon to be released debut album. Then, in order to promote the new “Now That’s What I Call Music 33”, on which her new single is featured as a bonus track, she covered two very popular songs, “Tik Tok” by Kesha and “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga. The crowd was very impressed with her renditions of the hits. After each of the covers, she sarcastically joked about how “similar” she is to Kesha and Lady Gaga. Following these covers, she played her single “Heart of Gold”. “Heart of Gold” is your typical angst filled break-up song, yet Huff provides a very upbeat take on an unfortunate topic. She then proceeded to teach she crowd the dance to her song “Comeback”, and the crowd participated by doing it with her as she sang the chorus of the song. She ended her set with “Trippin It Up”, but she couldn’t leave the stage without once again reminding us that her debut album is due out on May 11th. This CD is definitely one you’re not going to want to miss out on.
The crowd waited in anticipation for the headliners to take the stage. After the crew was done setting up, screams erupted as Honor Society came out. Alexander Noyes took his place behind his drum-set. Then, Jason Rosen, the keyboard player, took stage left, and Andrew Lee took stage right with his bass. Michael Bruno commanded center stage with his guitar and powerful vocals. They started their set with “Rock with You”, which brought the energy at the House of Blues up a few levels. Jason Rosen was able to showcase his talent on the keyboard right away, and he took full advantage. Next was their song that’s been with them from the very beginning, the song that started it all, “See U in the Dark”. This song needed absolutely no introducing, or even a suggestion for the crowd to do the “Honor Roll”, all of this came naturally to the guys and their fans. This song has been played at almost every Honor Society show to date, definitely a crowd favorite. “Here Comes Trouble” and “Two Rebels” kept the energy levels up, and the crowd sung along to every word. Slowing it down, they played “My Own Way”, and you could feel the power and emotion behind Bruno’s vocals as he sang the chorus, with the moving lyrics, “Well, you never did care, enough about me, anyway, so I guess it’d be best for both of us, if I didn’t stay. Well you never did care, enough about me, anyway. Left my heart on the floor, now you know gotta go my own way, I can’t stay.” This song provided an amazing lead into their acoustic medley. Bruno and Rosen took center stage, while Lee and Noyes received a very well deserved break. Bruno discussed about how many well-known artists have amazing songs that aren’t as well-known as their singles that get constant radio play. Armed with their acoustic guitars they sang “Fire Bomb” by Rihanna, “Speechless” by Lady Gaga, and “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum. Jason Rosen then shocked everyone by taking over the lead vocals to “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. Michael Bruno backed away from his microphone and gave Rosen the complete control. After this they continued on their acoustic path, and covered “Down” by Jay Sean, at this point in the concert Andy Lee and Alexander Noyes returned to the stage. Then they performed their newest song “When I Get Home”, for which Bruno declared beforehand: “I say this every night, and it’s true, I wrote this song for someone very very special, and every night that I play it I hope that they can hear it.” All the girls swooned as the band sung the lyrics. After the song, the band upheld a tradition and took a picture of the crowd that they would post on twitter later with the message “Chicago! You were beautiful tonight…thank you all”. They then moved onto “Sing for You”, a powerful anthem. Then, Honor Society brought their two opening acts, Just Kait and Ashlyne Huff, back on stage to help them sing “Don’t Close the Book on Me”. Kait and Ashlyne sung the part in the song that fans are used to the Jonas Brothers singing at some Honor Society concerts. “Over You” and “Nobody Has to Know”, two upbeat songs, reenergized the crowd and left them wanting more. The band exited the stage, and some people left to make their way to the meet and greet line, but most fans knew that there was more in store. Girls all around the House of Blues started chanting “Play one more!” and the gentlemen didn’t disappoint. They came back out on stage and rounded out the concert with “Full Moon Crazy”, which was the song that they titled their first headlining tour with. Girls sang along to the catchy chorus full force. The crowd was sad to see the concert come to an end, but quickly moved on to what seemed to be never ending signing line. If you bought a piece of merch, you got to meet the band and the opening acts, which most everyone took full advantage of. Though the prices were a little high, no one wanted to miss out on meeting their gentlemen and the powerhouses that took the stage before them.
We left the House of Blues feeling energized and the furthest thing from disappointment. You definitely don’t want to miss your chance to see this show when it comes to a venue near you. Honor Society puts on an amazing show. Even if you’re not a huge fan of their music, they know how to get a crowd pumping, and they won’t fail to leave you wanting more.
Musiqtone.com had full coverage of the Here Comes Trouble tour, so make sure you check out Alan Ho’s interview with the lovely Ashlyne Huff, and also his Hot Seat with Honor Society.