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Be brave, don’t dwell

by Heather MacIntyre

Sometimes even knock-offs possess the ability to deliver a performance in a first-rate manner. When I say “knock-offs,” I’m talking about the quick and cheap dozen or so imitators that flourish in the wake of a unique band scoring a hit. They replicate like amoeba, adopting everything from music and vocals – cast in a similar style – to social projection, fashion, labels, advertising, artwork and, especially, live performance. It’s very easy for new artists to attempt this re-creation of music from musicians they either enjoy themselves, or that they have witnessed celebrity growth from. So it’s only obvious enough that they should try the same techniques. Thus, the success from the “authentic” band drives others to reach the same fame, unfortunately by the same path.

This at one point was how I felt about the Bravery. Last night at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center showed a perfect example of why everyone should be

less hesitant to open themselves to

more than just the “hype” or lack

thereof. The Bravery gave a dexterous performance that surprised critics – myself included. They weren’t the

Killers, Hot Hot Heat or the Strokes, but they exhibited high energy and a teasing set, working off the audience and projecting talent with random improvisation that most bands are too cool or lazy to attempt.

Lead singer Sam Endicott is notorious for being on the receiving end of cynical remarks of the knock-off variety. He was ready for it though, naming his band after a personal philosophy he deemed important in the music industry today.

“Especially in New York, where I’m from,” he commented, “everyone is watching and waiting for you to do something wrong. Everyone needs something negative to say, because it sounds smarter or cooler than being positive. Just when something becomes successful, people get bored with it and have nowhere to go with their opinion

but down.”

The name of the band was to remind themselves of this trial that they were prepared to endure throughout their career. Be brave; don’t dwell.

The concert was originally booked outdoors at Hamburger Square for Tournament Town Goes Downtown festivities, though it was moved because of unwelcome weather. The public made do, but it would have been more popular with the Saturday night crowd if it hadn’t been for the location change, stealing the convenience of having all downtown activities within walking distance. How unfortunate, because the concert was worth seeing. They played older hits that you might recognize from TV soundtracks like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Hills” and “Friday Night Lights.” In addition, breaking out new tunes from their week-old album just released on Island Records, The Sun and The Moon.

The Bravery wasn’t the only band to make a good impression on Greensboro that night. UNCG student Michelle Garcia believed that even though she enjoyed the Bravery’s keyboardist, John Conway, and his performance, the opening band was better.

She says, “I was glad it was a free show for a big name like the Bravery, but I ended up discovering a new band for my favorites: Civic Twilight. They were really talented.” Garcia and friends arrived early, coming right from class around 5:30 p.m. The Bravery went on at 9 and fans flocked to the stage, setting off incremental screams every few seconds. Ultimately, a handful of the crowd admitted to having intentions of carpooling to see them again the very next evening in Charlotte.

Ready to form your own musical opinion? Watch for upcoming tours at thebravery.com.

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