Aftermath: Thee Armada at Warehouse Live

Few bands make being hip look so, well, hip, as Thee Armada, Houston's addition to this breed of Urbanely Outfitted musicians. Opening the set with "We Will Rock You," the quintet's intent was made plain from the beginning: they intended to rock, no more and no less. Saturday at Warehouse live, Armada served up exactly what one would expect from a group trying to win a MySpace record deal: catchy songs and a young crowd willing to blow a week's allowance on merch.

Aftermath is hardly hating on Armada for this fact, mind you - from the standpoint of the band's primarily high-school audience, the group completed its mission in full.

Armada's purpose Saturday was showcasing songs from its brand-new EP, Sweet Tease - all four of them - but the audience didn't seem to be disappointed when the group launched into older songs "New Tattoo" and "Rock, Shock, and Load." Lead singer Joshua Caddy keeps the crowd's spirits high with his between-song banter. Girly screams ensued after Caddy encouraged the audience to "keep crowd surfing" and then attempted to hang ten.

Musically, however, it was the band that stole the show. Despite Armada's contrived lyrics and vocals that made the young girls swoon, guitarists Bryan Shelton and Taylor Peek, bassist Michael Fillewicz and drummer Brian Smith knew how to play their instruments. The time spent in their rooms practicing over the years showed during both their original songs and especially on a cover of Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back in Town," a tribute to all the parents in attendance.

Duly noted was this band's connection with its fans. Caddy asked that every audience member that hadn't met them before come to their table at the end of the night to say "hello." Although many groups thrive on how big they think they are, Armada isn't one of them. Not only do they recognize that it's because of those kids that they've made it this far, they actually like them too.

This is not the band for the 35-year-old guy trying to figure out how to make his next mortgage payment. The cheeriness of Armada's music will do nothing to ease the worry that comes from thaty plight. However, for the 14-year-old kid itching to see a concert and make it home by curfew, it's a different story altogether.

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Kim Douglass
Contact: Kim Douglass