This Wednesday night was the first night of summer in Orlando. For a few hundred happy fans it was a fantastic Rocket Summer. Putting on a passionate and energetic performance, Bryce Avary, the soul of The Rocket Summer lit up the stage at The Social in Orlando for nearly two hours. He is currently on tour promoting the band’s fifth album Life Will Write the Words. Avary started performing in Orlando about 8 years back and has made the city a repeat destination on his tours, and for good reason; his fans love him!
The Rocket Summer opened the night with an extremely impressive showcase of Avary’s musical talents – the energetic, multi-talented musician displayed his ability to play the drums, then moved to the keyboard, slid over to the bass guitar and finally rocked on lead guitar. With guitar in hand he fired up the crowd as he kicked into “Do You Feel”
Quickly realizing the show was only going to get more intense and energetic he performed “Hills and Valleys” and then the band played the first song off of the new album – “Run and Don’t Stop.” The new album hit the shelves just two weeks ago, yet there was hardly a person in the venue not singing along. For “Of Men and Angels” – a definite crowd-pleaser – he took things down a notch and moved over to the keyboard to express his piano abilities.
The Rocket Summer then picked things back up with one of their most popular songs “Break it Out” allowing the fans to sing along while showcasing his musical skills. “Prove It,” another hit off the new album got the crowd jumping, then just as they reached a frenzy, Avary disappeared from the stage leaving the crowd searching.
Suddenly, fans at the back of the venue started screaming as Avary, guitar in hand walks to the center of the floor – takes a seat – and performs yet another song off the new album, “Soldiers.” A much more personal performance sang right in the heart of the fans. After his performance he stood up on the bar and dove into the crowd as they passed him along back to the stage.
Before the performance of “Walls,” Avary spoke to the crowd about how much this song meant to him and that he wanted everyone to know they weren’t alone – it was a goose-bump moment to say the least, as the crowd sang in unison and his very impressive piano performance was displayed. The performance of “Revival” was the most rocking performance of the night; we heard more edgy vocals and saw more head banging, guitar rocking, and crowd jumping in this song than any other of the night. The Rocket Summer closed the set with “You Tell Me To Live.”
With the crowd rhythmically chanting and clapping for more, Avary returned to the stage, this time without the band. He opened the encore with three solo acoustic songs – all highlighting his outstanding vocal talent. I found it very unique that Avary opened the floor to the crowd on which songs they wanted to hear next and gave a few lucky fans the satisfaction of having their request selected.
Avary then decided it was time to throw “a little dance party” and once again ran around stage playing every instrument he could get his hands on, while the crowd danced mesmerized by his diverse musical ability.
In total, The Rocket Summer put on an encore of seven songs plus a little dance party. Avary repeatedly noted to the crowd that he just wanted to keep playing. A highlight from the encore was the performance of “Circa ’46” – this was the first time ever performing the song live. Avary noted to the crowd they had practiced it a few days earlier and wanted to test it. Throughout the performance he yelled “well this isn’t going so bad.” Truly a fun experience to be part of. They closed the night with” I Need a Break… but I’d Rather Have a Breakthrough.”
Not only are the vocals of Avary perfectly on key but his musical talent is absolutely amazing. How many artists do you know who can perform for close to two hours, sing in the midst of a frenzied crowd, stage dive, crowd surf, interact with the fans, and move between playing the keyboard to the guitar singing the entire time, then put on a 7 song encore?
Bryce Avary is one of those musicians that is grateful for the fans that continue to come out and support his dream year after year and he rewards them with a jaw dropping performance. He connected with the entire crowd throughout the show and made sure everyone knew how thankful he was, and by the length of his encore really showed he had no desire to leave the stage.
I also noted that The Rocket Summer played seven songs off their new album, whereas most bands only play a few new cuts off a brand new album and stick to the fan favorites. Avary took a risk and it paid off as the crowd knew all the words and not a person seemed disappointed; but after a show like that how could you be?
– Kerri –
Check out the setlist below.
Do you Feel
Hills and valleys
Run and Don’t Stop
Of Men and Angels
Break it Out
Soldiers (played in the middle of the crowd)
So, In This Hour
You Tell Me To Live
Around the clock
So Much Love
Circa ‘46 (first performance ever)
Just for a Moment Forget Who You Are
I Need a Break… But I’d Rather Have a Breakthrough