Senses Fail Headline the Starland Ballroom

Review and Photos by Kimberly Ann

Senses Fail
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Senses Fail Headline the Starland Ballroom – The night of St. Patrick’s Day 2018, Senses Fail headlined at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey. Senses Fail played their first EP ‘From the Depths of Dreams’ in its entirety. This was a special show because it was the first and only time they will be playing the full album. The lineup also included Household, Have Mercy and Reggie and the Full Effect.

The first band to kick off the show was Household. They are a band from Minneapolis. I have not listened to this band before, so I was curious to see their performance. After the show I went on YouTube and listened to some of their songs from the album ‘Everything a River Should Be’. Most of the songs on this album start out slow then progress with a faster beat. I like their music because it’s not too heavy and the lyrics are easy to understand.

The next band on the bill was Have Mercy from Baltimore, Maryland. They are an alternative band that I also enjoyed seeing in concert for the first time. Their sound is described as a mix of acoustic and emo with strong vocals. The song “Howl” is very powerful and emotional since the lyrics are about someone’s father dying. After seeing this band, I would probably listen to them again. Their album, ‘Make the Best of It’ seems to be the most favorable one yet which was released early in 2017.

Following Have Mercy was Reggie and the Full Effect. This band really caught my attention because they are punk rock but had a more of an electro vibe with keyboards in the background. They played a new song called “The Horrible year”. This was a fast paced song which really got the audience dancing and having an amazing time. After listening to this song, I definitely had chills running down my spine. If I bought the new album I would play the song on repeat in my car! Their new album ’41’ was released on February 23, 2018.  The frontman, James Dewees, used to be in the band The Get Up Kids and toured with New Found Glory and My Chemical Romance as their tour keyboardist.

The final performance of the night was Senses Fail. They are an American post-hardcore/pop punk band from New Jersey that has been playing shows since 2002. Despite the many lineup changes, the band still brings high energy to the crowd. The only founding member still in the band is James Nielsen (lead singer). I first saw Senses Fail perform in 2015 at Vans Warped Tour but only caught half of their set. I was excited to see them once again in concert. Even though the venue was packed, I was still able to find a spot in the front row. I had a great view of the stage and saw many people crowd surfing. It was difficult to move around through the crowd but everyone still seemed to enjoy the show.

I would recommend this band to friends and would tell them to see Senses Fail the next time they are in town. I also suggest that new fans should take a listen to their new album ‘If There is Light, It Will Find You’. Their new record consists of 12 tracks and was released on February 16, 2018. Most of the songs on the album are about dealing with difficult times in life but knowing that the light will pull you through. Senses Fail will be wrapping up their current tour on March 31st. If you are on the west coast and want to see a show please be sure to check them out at the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas. They are also returning to Canada this spring with Sharptooth and Lil Lotus in support of their latest album.


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