Columbus, OH, Newport Music Hall, May 15, 2005

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

Just earlier this year, Crossfade toured with the Snocore tour and seemed to have taken a few notes. During that gig in Columbus, Crossfade seemed to have the cart before the horse. With two singles reaching top status on many radio markets, So Far Away and Cold, before the band could really get solid touring in, Crossfade was a live act that with high expectations and not enough experience.

 

So when Crossfade announced a headlining gig, there was some speculation as to how the band would pull it off. With just their self-titled debut CD to create a set list, it would seem the cart was still before the horse and Crossfade would not be able to pull off an hour time slot.

But as mentioned earlier, Crossfade took the time to learn from their peers on Snocore, in the likes of Helmet and Chevelle, and as a band, were commanding of the stage and the audience in front of them. With only a $12 ticket price, Crossfade had the floor of the Newport packed, and came out heavy straight from the first chord of Ed Sloan's guitar. With the downward spiral of the hiphop-meets-metal music, co-vocalist and turntable DJ Tony Byroads is able to add enough mix and spin to make the music interesting without making it over the top.

 

This South Carolina quartet has some solid music, and live, they are becoming just as solid. Where as just months ago there was a little scatterness to the band's performance, tonight it was as if the band was finally gelling and becoming a cohesive unit.

 

Much of a bands live success lives and breathes with timing, and drummer James Branham has been able to improve his live performance while not losing any of the necessary tempo and beat. With that strong backbeat thumping, bodies started early flying across outstretched hands as the pushed kids forward until the final destination was reached, smack in the pit. The body surfing was enough to be fun, and not over-the-top where it takes away from the show. Sometimes, kids get a little over zealous and surf for the sake of surfing, and both the crowd and band become second player for the night. But Crossfade is heavy enough to keep the masses moving, but can also bring it down to keep an even keel of emotion and balance to the show.

For 60 minutes, Sloan and company proved to be a band on the rise. Unlike many bands whose carts come before the horse, and instant success comes before a few cross-country tours, Crossfade is not satisfied with radio success. This is a band that wants to become a great live act, and seems to be working each night to figure out how to become a band that when the audience leaves, there is talk for days after. Maybe the band isn't there yet, after all, crossing the country on tour after tour hasn't really happened for the band yet, but the direction the band is taking and the improvements they are making are surefire steps in the right direction. This band, once a triplet piece known as The Nothing, and then even its current from as Sugerdaddy Superstar, Crossfade has been able to write their music they way they wanted to. After all, Sloan built a studio in his garage, and the band was able to develop their sound on their own. And when playing live, that freedom of expression and ownership is finally starting to come across in how the songs are performed live.

Ed Sloan
Ed Sloan
James Branham
Ed Sloan
Mitch James
Tony Byroads