Sat. May 25th, 2024

During my amateur experiences as a concert-goer, I have usually found opening bands to be like tonsils: unnecessary, and at times, dangerously irritating. I would skip opening acts completely and just waltz in for the main event– but that is no way to get a good spot for the headliner. I just have to suck it up and deal with the experimental shrieking and other shenanigans forced upon me by opening acts.

Sometimes, however, an opener surprises me. This was the case of Foxy Shazam’s Tabernacle Tour, which is supporting the band’s latest album “The Church of Rock and Roll.”

I could geek out about Foxy Shazam for days, but I will spare readers that particular torture. I will just say that Foxy Shazam is six passionate, talented guys from Cincinnati, who consistently crank out soulful, anthemic songs.

The first two shows of the tour, which took place on March 24 at Allentown’s Crocodile Rock Cafe and on March 25 at Philly’s North Star Bar, proved that opening acts can rock too.

Cadaver Dogs, a trio from Columbus, Ohio, were dripping with attitude. Such bravado would usually turn me off, but Cadaver Dogs possessed a talent and raw energy that jolted me and the rest of the crowd into submission.

The band’s live performances are undoubtedly kick-ass, but if getting to a show is out of the question, they have two EPs out right now (“Thrill Ride” and “On All Fours”), which are perfect for anyone who wants to rock out with his or her bad self.

The second opener, Maniac, changed the mood with their catchy, pop-rock tunes. Head maniacs, Jake Grigg and Shawn Harris, sang back and forth to each other with infectious grins that spread to the audience.

Harris’s sister Vanessa, who bares a striking, yet irrelevant resemblance to Skrillex, lent her talents as chief keyboard player and back-up vocalist.

The band splits their time between California (the home of the Harris siblings) and Australia (the home of Jake Grigg). These sunny locales shine through in Maniac’s bright, upbeat songs. “HooDoo,” “Pride of Lions,” and “Three Kings Day” are all great for the beautiful weather that West Chester is beginning to experience.

So, download a couple of Maniac songs, go lay out in the quad, and relax. That is an order.

Molly Herbison is a first-year student at WCU. She can be reached at 

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