Has there ever been an over usage of the Icelandic flag as a decoration? Well if there ever was, it would be at a Kaleo Concert.
On Nov. 18 at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania right down the street from the 69th Street station, Kaleo performed along with Wildwood and ZZ Ward.
Wilder is an alternative folk rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. Their style mirrors Kaleo’s aesthetic well, with rolled-up jeans and different forms of Chukka boots. The band consists of Charlie Greene, Ben Booth, Taylor Dubray and Chase Wofford. The lead singer Charlie was at times hard to hear and off-tune; the sound quality from the starting band wasn’t that great. I’m blaming the guy on sound board. Someone standing next me said, “They make the opening acts sound bad on purpose.”
Their song lyrics are somewhat repetitive but definitely very catchy and some of their guitar licks are really impressive. Their produced stuff on YouTube sounds ten times better. I’ve never heard a band like them before. For the band being two years old, I think they have the potential to be something big. You should definitely look out for Wilder.
Throughout the night the bands got better and better. The next band was ZZ Ward. The lead singer ZZ is this small blonde-haired woman whose beautiful black dress was reminiscent of Taylor Swift circa 2012. The lead singer of the band ZZ is from Pennsylvania but was raised in Oregon. Their band’s genre is “sauce” and the influences listed on their Facebook page are “Hot Chocolate & Whiskey, Broken Hearts & Ginger Ale.” I would say her sound is something between Gin Wigmore and Delta Rae, a mixture of country and blues. The production quality of her set was just a little better than Wilder. I honestly wasn’t the biggest fan of her music.
Then, the piece de resistance: Kaleo. With the smoldering, smokey-voiced lead singer JJ Julius Son. Kaleo’s genre of music is rock and blues with songs like “All the Pretty Girls” and their recent popular release “Way Down We Go” receiving millions of views on YouTube. They are currently on there “Fall Express World Tour” which started in August and will continue until November hitting major cities like Moscow, Amsterdam, New York and Philadelphia.
The band originally formed in Mosfellsbær, Iceland, a small town of 9,000 people. Kaleo is currently based out of Nashville, Tennessee after signing with Atlantic Records in 2015. Their music is so quintessentially American as blues proves itself to be a true American genre. With JJ’s voice and the guitarist Rubin Pollock’s skillful playing of soulful blues music, you forget they are from Iceland.
Kaleo doesn’t disappoint. It’s a bummer when you listen to a band and then they end up sucking live. They are a band that sounds exactly like their recorded music live making their concerts really enjoyable.
Emily Rodden is a second-year student majoring in anthropology. She can be reached at ER871398@wcupa.edu.