Never Shout Never, William Beckett, Anarbor, & Me Like Bees | Tonight @ Rocketown

UPDATE: We just got word that this show is now completely sold out. Sorry guys!

Never Shout Never, previously an alias for performer Christofer Drew Ingle before morphing into an actual band fronted by Ingle over the past several years, have had a varied career to say the least. If your only impression of the group is 2010’s infectiously catchy pop jingle “Can’t Stand It” (or if you only followed Ingle prior to that- when his releases were lofi acoustic bedroom pop), their latest effort Indigo might really surprise you. If you’ve kept up with Never Shout Never’s four releases over the past two years (they’re nothing if not prolific), however, it makes perfect sense. The band has always grounded itself within a basic pop framework. They’re not pop punk, because there’s nothing punk about them (other than, perhaps, their dress style- though these days they have kind of a pop punk hipster hybrid thing going on), but they do mesh well with the “scene” (their new record has Hot Topic exclusive distribution, for example). Despite those paramaters, from Never Shout Never’s conception, Ingle has always had an obvious desire to push artistic boundaries as much as possible. They’ve explored acoustic pop, synthpop, power pop, and dreamy singer-songwriter before aggressively transitioning into folky, Americana-infused rock, and branching into big, anthemic layered ambient rock.

With Indigo, the band finds their sound much more grounded and focused, sort of a old school rock and roll infused with modern pop and embellished with string flourishes. It’s not their most musically adventerous record, but it is by far their most confident- tastefully layered rather than overdone. As a songwriter, Ingle has fallen into a much higher sense of confidence and self-assuredness (a long way from the depressive and insecure lyrical themes of early recordings) and that translates both musically and thematically. The band, now mostly shed of the mainstream spotlight and the pressures associated, have never been stronger and continue to evolve and surprise in a way few bands in their musical scene have the skill or courage to. If you’d previously written off Never Shout Never, or you don’t think these types of bands are typically your cup of tea, I promise there’s more to this one that meets the eye.

You might remember him as the frontman for now defunct Chicago pop punk band The Academy Is…, but William Beckett‘s solo career is a far cry from his former band. Since his band’s split, Beckett has spent time writing for other artists, preparing to make his debut as an author, and prolifically writing and subsequently touring on his own. The singer has already released three EPs in 2012, unified by astoundingly different influences and flexing Beckett’s impressive range. He leaps from pop to soul to straightforward rock and roll, all binded my the singer’s intelligent and thoughtful lyrical style and amazing vocal talent. Transitioning from a band to a solo career, especially when your solo career is a drastic departure, is always a tough endeavor. With his tremendous talent and knack for crafting polished and enjoyable songs, I’m certainly rooting for William Beckett to achieve the solo success he so rightfully deserves! And Academy Is fans, don’t worry, there’s a really good chance he’ll be playing some old classics this evening as well!

It’s been a few years since we’ve seen a proper release from Arizona rockers Anarbor and if their new single “Damage I’ve Done” (from their forthcoming full-length) is any indication, the band has grown up a lot in the interim. They’ve always had a unique knack for fusing alternative rock and power pop with perfectly refined melodic sensibilities and high technical prowess. Their new single shows off a more energetic, focused, and skillful effort and is a strong indication that the band has perfected their tried and true formala. Tonight is the first show of this tour, so it’s also the first chance to catch Anarbor debuting a lot of new material.

Opening the show, Me Like Bees are an indie/alt rock band from Never Shout Never’s hometown of Joplin, Missouri. They cite Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire, and The White Stripes among their influences and it’s clear that those influences spill heavily into their songwriting style. They’re definitely the odd band out in this lineup, but also perhaps the single most interesting in may ways. Singer Luke Sheafer has a really compelling melodic sense and delivery style, wavering from really technically sound to spastic and earnest. Their songs weave between generes without sounding messy and if their live energy is half as great as their recordings, they’re definitely a band worth showing up extra early for!

Never Shout Never are performing tonight at Rocketown with William Beckett, Anarbor, and Me Like Bees. The show starts at 6PM and tickets are still available here.

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