A mix of nostalgia and new music swept through the Nile Theater in Mesa on Saturday for the return of The Early November and The Dangerous Summer. Joined by Save Face and Jetty Bones, the show was a beautiful journey down a sunny memory lane.
New Jersey band Save Face, along with Jetty Bones, made for the perfect start to the evening. Cracking jokes about the Arizona heat between songs, vocalist Tyler Povanda kept the early audience engaged with his heartfelt performance. Guitarist Phil McGarry balanced what could have been a weighty set with his onstage antics, bringing smiles to the front row.
As more people filed in, Jetty Bones took the stage for what was described as an “indie rock Paramore” set. While the comparison of every female vocalist to the inimitable Hayley Williams seems to be the standard, Kelc Galluzzo is very much her own woman. Jetty Bones’ indie sensibilities were brought to life by Galluzzo’s touring band, who locked in the harmonies and stellar instrumentation.
“We’re not going to play all sad songs tonight,” Galluzzo joked after a melancholy first number. Jetty Bones’ set was sad lyrics set to much happier music and the crowd clearly loved every minute.
The night’s closers came to remind us all that there’s a reason for their longevity. The Dangerous Summer reunited in 2017 after a seemingly endless hiatus and they’ve returned to the stage better than ever. They played fan favorites like “Ghost” and “Where I Want to Be,” adding in songs from their comeback album (“Fire” was a set highlight).
Singer AJ Perdomo’s interaction with several beer-toting fans in the audience drew laughs as they heckled the band with compliments and suggestive comments. They closed their set with “Infinite” as the audience demanded they come back for an encore.
The Early November is a truly special band. Ace Enders has undoubtedly the most powerful, expressive voice in his genre of music and each tour is a fresh reminder of why he should always continue to make music.
With a catalog of over 15 years of music, Enders and his backing band had plenty of material to pull from, choosing fan favorites and a few deep cuts. The raw emotion in Ender’s screaming vocals for “Frayed in Doubt” started a set fraught with feelings. Unfortunately, Enders’ amp wasn’t functioning and he was visibly frustrated with the technical difficulties, dropping his guitar unceremoniously on the stage to throw his body into the middle part of the set.
By the time Enders reached “Narrow Mouth”, the technical problems were resolved and he launched into the latter part of the set with renewed vigor. He thanked his devoted audience, all of whom screamed every word throughout the night. His talented touring band included a guitarist that switched instruments from piano to trumpet, even taking over during the technical difficulties.
The Early November abandoned the pretense of an encore; instead “ending” the set with “I Want to See You Sad” (with the majority of the vocals done by an enthusiastic crowd) and jumping into the encore songs of “Boxing Timelines” and “Ever So Sweet.”
The final song was a departure from most bands’ desire to end on a explosive note. Enders closed his set with nothing but his guitar and assistance from his backing guitarist’s mournful violin.
The Nile was a haven for nostalgia on Saturday, but these are bands who are in this business for the long haul. Both The Dangerous Summer and The Early November are on the verge of releasing new music, promising careers that have no intention of slowing down. Even Enders’ abrupt exit to catch a plane home to see his family only proves that these guys want both worlds and the fans showed they’re always going to be right there with them.
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel