Sunday, November 28, 2010

HEY MONDAY @ El Rey

Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday performs at El Rey
Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday performs at El Rey.
photos by picksyticks



Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday performs at El Rey
Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday performs at El Rey.
photos by picksyticks


by JPegg

Los Angeles was the scene. El Rey Theatre was the location. It was a Friday night. The time was nine-thirty in the evening when the chandeliers dimmed and the curtains opened to reveal the guys of Hey Monday starting their rip into instruments under stage lights slicing bright. But center stage was open and empty, like a team without a captain, a fuse without a firecracker, a mixed drink without alcohol, something obvious was needed before the show could ignite. Then like a strike of a match the crowd flared as Cassadee Pope bolted on stage and danced into “Wish You Were Here.”

The seven hundred caCassadee Pope of Hey Mondaypacity venue suddenly seemed too small to contain Hey Monday’s arena sized pop phenomenon of energy. Cassadee was like a zealous cheerleader in her promised turquoise tights as she hailed the crowd to join in on the second song, “Homecoming.” The pep rally responded loud on cue, “Homecoming, I’m coming, I’m coming back.” It was clearly going to be a winning evening.

If the crowd didn’t know the band on stage was Hey Monday from West Palm Beach, Florida, they did now. Cassadee mentioned, too, that this was the first time Hey Monday performed at El Rey Theatre. She plugged their new Beneath It All EP and then eased into one of its songs, “Where Is My Head.” It was mellow until she lost her head bursting into the chorus.

Before the next song, the audience seemed to have lulled and Cassadee asked, “Are you guys awake out there? It’s a little late.” It was a crowd of parent and kids under tamed emotions. Parties and parents just don’t seem right together. She slung an acoustic guitar over her shoulder and strummed into “Mr. Pushover,” a skip-a-long sad song about a mindless spineless sponge of a person, not standing up for himself. It had an irony of an upbeat sound with sad lyrics, like a smile shielding the hurt.


Hey Monday at the El Rey.
photo by picksysticks



Hey Monday at the El Rey.
photo by picksysticks

It must have been passed the bedtime for the crowd as their screams peeked at yellow and their claps turned to slopping plops. LA didn’t know how to party tonight. It was a Friday, right? It had nothing to do with the band. Lately, LA crowds had just become nodding heads, too busy fiddling with their palm gadgets. She tried once again, “It doesn’t matter if you’re sober or tired, it’s Saturday tomorrow. I want you to lose your minds with me!” It was a fitting introduction to “Hangover.” Her acoustic guitar became front and center with a feeling of an intimate singer/songwriter lounge sound with full band accompaniment.
Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday performs at El Rey
Then the crowd invigorated with hands waving and clapping when Hey Monday struck a chord back into their Hold On Tight album with “Josey.” It seemed the crowd was alive after all and just weren’t full familiar with the previous three songs from the new EP. Hands spiked and voices exalted as if giving encouragement with every launch into the chorus, “Josey, don’t you worry…” Then the band slipped into high spirited “Obvious” with out a lead or pause, a bright flirty song with a feeling of grabbing romance by the heart and sneaking it under the bleachers for secrets to unfold.

Cassadee did confess a personal dating story to introduce the next new song. She was inspired to write it after her awful experience with a guy that didn’t contribute anything in the relationship. “It wasn’t equal. I had all the stress,” she said. Cassadee got rid of the guy and gained the self empowering song, “Wondergirl,” suiting her with powers to protect her from villains like him that gave nothing to love. A super power cape of a song for anyone needing to save themselves from a bad relationship.

For those at this show that hadn’t been to any major music concerts, Cassadee gave a spoiler before the supposed final song by telling the audience about the encore. “We’re going to pretend like this is our last song and then we’re going to walk off stage and you’re going to go ‘encore, encore,’ and then we’re going to come back out and play like two or three more songs.” After she gave the crowd this warning she got everybody more than dancing with “I Don’t Wanna Dance.” It’s one of the new songs, but was already well known from the music video, which was released shortly before the EP became available. And yes, as in the video, the fans knew when to clap, double-clap.

Hey Monday
Hey Monday.
photos by picksysticks



Hey Monday
Hey Monday.
photos by picksysticks


Hey Monday ended the set and walked off stage. The crowd yelled, “Encore, encore…”

A few minutes later Hey Monday was back in position, but now the front three were lined with acoustic guitars for the song, “Candles.” It would be a slightly altered rendition of the sad ballad slow jam, where the album version uses a piano, they used acoustic guitars tonight. Not many candles, lighters, or even cell phones went swaying in vigil, but as the lyrics state, “Looks like a solo tonight.” As the song came to an end, the lights went low on the guys of Hey Monday going still in the shadows while a lavender light took spot on Cassadee as she glided a bow, ending the song in a violin solo.

To get the people pumping before the inevitable all waiting final unsung song, Hey Monday guitar ganged into a cover of “In My Head” by Jason Derulo, a cover that they performed at every show on this year’s Vans Warped Tour. The fans were shrieking their thrills to be hearing them perform this song again.

Hey Monday's Cassadee Pope  performs at El Rey.
Hey Monday's Cassadee Pope performs at El Rey.
photos by picksyticks



Hey Monday's Cassadee Pope  performs at El Rey.
Hey Monday's Cassadee Pope performs at El Rey.
photos by picksyticks


Without further ado, it was time to hold on tight to “How You Love Me Now.” Those that knew took grip from the start and rollercoastered with Cassadee all the way through. Ready. Set. “Whoa oh, Whoa oh oh…” The energy of Cassadee’s vocals released like a shockwave through the crowd. She was an adrenaline bomb and the pit was ground zero. The floor began undulating beneath the stampede of rollicking feet. It was pure, exciting commotions of overwhelming feelings as the crowd became fireworks of joy exploding every lyric. A natural euphoria swelled through all those singing in unison with Hey Monday. A cleansing, light headed, heat radiating, exhilarating feeling that only concerts and worship houses seem to give. Amazing. It was one of those, you had to be there, moments. Then too soon it was over. A final applause and goodnight to everybody as the curtains closed and chandelier lights turned up bright.

Aside from all the excitement, Cassadee Pope did not self promote the merchandise of Hey Monday, but rather asked everybody to visit after the show the merchandise table for Invisible Children.
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