So two years ago I came across the band of brothers from Florida by the name of 'Boyce Avenue' after searching for the Rihanna 'Umbrella' video on YouTube. I was instantly hooked on their cover of 'Umbrella' and I've been following them ever since.
I've blogged about them many times here on the Bsides, my Twitter stream is full of 'Le love Boyce Avenue' tweets and I've posted far too many Boyce Avenue videos on Facebook to keep count.
So fast forward to last night and I finally got to see them perform live in concert at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa (and my concert date was Tech Mummy, Krista Swanson).
And let me tell you it was so worth the wait.
Apparently I wasn't the only one in Ottawa who couldn't wait to see them...because for a band that gets zero radio play they managed to sell out last night's show. We waited 40 minutes in line to get in...the line went around the corner for blocks. Which makes sense seeing they are the most viewed band of all time on YouTube.
And the all ages crowd...cover songs aside...knew almost every word to all their original songs. All this based on a website, YouTube/VEVO channel, a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account.
That speaks volumes to how the music industry and the radio industry that I love so much is rapidly changing because of social media.
No longer do bands have to rely on getting that demo tape into the hands of some random record company executive to sign a deal and get a spin on the radio to garner a following, that allows a band like Boyce Avenue to do a North American and European Tour.
Now I am by no way saying that the signed major record deal, national radio play, the full out arena tours aren't important because it is - that's what all bands are striving for when they play night at after night in small venues, bars, and clubs. But aspiring bands and artists need to embrace the changing landscape - social media is the new way to get that dream. Embrace and abuse it...social media it's quickly becoming the new ticket to gaining a following. It gets you noticed on a worldwide stage...and that's an opportunity no band/artist with big dreams can pass up.
Crazy when you think about it.
But with that said - radio really needs to jump on board and start playing these guys. To borrow a line from a certain angry but sexy British man by the name of Simon Cowell, they've got that 'it' thing going on. And if you're a radio station targeting females, well this band is a no brainer.
True, they may be known more for their cover songs at this point but quite frankly that's how they get your attention (and sorry Katy Perry their cover of 'Firework'...umm yeah I like it a 1000x better I do) but when you listen to their own original music...well that's when you know they're have what it takes to become big names as a band in their own right.
I mean for these three brothers who started innocently enough by posting just one video on YouTube and now get millions and millions of views well that says something. It proves they've made a name for themselves in a very crowded social media arena where bands try for their big break every day. And they're succeeding on every front.
Trust me I have the iTunes downloading bills to prove it.
So if you love the sounds and vibe of the Goo Goo Dolls, The Fray, Fuel, Five For Fighting, 3 Doors Down, The Calling, The Script...then checking out Boyce Avenue would be something definitely worth doing.
And after seeing them perform live you can tell that this is music thing is what they were meant to do.Tthey were totally in the zone and comfortable on stage. They had this energy (despite their thing for sad, gets you right to the core ballads) and presence about them that left you wanting more. Plus they managed to work Ottawa into the lyrics, which thrilled the sold out crowd to no end. Sure at some points you could totally tell the night felt a little surreal for them and kind of had that 'we're in awe moments' and they repeated 'you guys are amazing/fantastic' a lot but that just added to their charm.
So for the first time in town I'd say they hit a homerun.
And the opening acts...Alex Goot and Juliet Weybret (also from YouTube fame) were equally as talented and a great addition to the show. (I even managed to get a picture with Alex Goot...sure I totally cut in front of the autograph line to get it but I was a woman on a mission last night).
So yes I'd totally go see them again and yes for the record the brothers, Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano, are totally hawt...we'll just file that one under 'added bonus'.
But next time they come to town let's aim for a much bigger venue.
Fot this live music loving rock star girl at heart....it was a totally fab night and well worth staying up past this mummy's curfew. In the end Boyce Avenue said it best when they tweeted after their show: "OMG!!! Ottawa, epic nite!!! We luv you! Sold Out crowd @bronsoncentre FTW! Lady Gaga played a sold out show here early on 2. ;) #goodcompany"
You can follow Boyce Avenue on Twitter: @BoyceAvenue