June 19, 2015
Last Friday night, Rod Ryan from 94.5 The Buzz jumped onstage at Fitzgerald’s to introduce Houston-based Lost Element at the release party for the Houston band's new single, “25.” “We’ve believed in them from Day 1, and these guys have never been on fire like they are right now,” the DJ said. “It’s my pleasure to introduce to you...Lost Element!” And with that, the five members took the stage one at a time before jumping straight into “No Promises.”
Now, as much as I try to stay on top of the local music scene, bands will sometimes slip through the cracks; I’m just not sure how this one did. On first impression, they’re as professional as they come, and I haven’t seen a local act more serious about their career since first catching wind of New York City Queens in 2011.
It’s quite impressive that, without the help of a record label, Lost Element has set up a brand (including a symbol), acquired management from CO5, and has accumulated some bells and whistles for live performances, which includes their own lighting and a small group of videographers. But what’s important to remember is that all of the money and gear in the world doesn’t make a band, and no one is more aware of that than the members of Lost Element.
As the group worked through the 12-song, one-hour set list, they showed more than just musical talent. Sure, they’ve got enough to go around, but they’ve successfully nailed down how to engage a crowd, which is getting harder and harder to do these days. Whether it’s a conscious decision or not, the men of Lost Element move around and own the stage with a charisma that usually isn’t seen in smaller, undiscovered acts. But somehow, the energy of the group — especially that of lead vocalist, Omar Lopez — could someday mean these guys are playing sold-out shows at Reliant Arena.
And therein lies Lost Element's glory. Even though they were playing to a large crowd in the upstairs room at Fitzgerald’s, the concert still felt like a larger-than-life experience — even for someone hearing the band for the first time. As they made their way through tracks like “A Place For Me” and “Stereo Dream,” the title track for their upcoming full-length album, I found myself quickly becoming a believer in Lost Element. But I was equally impressed when violinist Heather Rayleen was brought onstage to play during “1,000 Miles” before contributing guest vocals to their track “Imagined Blame.”
The group then left the stage, while drummer Brian Barrett performed an electrifying drum solo. And just when you thought he was done, he hopped up to play yet another drum solo on the bongos while Lopez jumped on the drums. And though the energy in the room was already high, it was what the crowd needed to keep up momentum for the show’s final few tracks.
When the band came back onstage to finish out the set, keyboardist Frank Vazquez jumped on guitar to help with “This Is What You Get,” a high-energy track that incorporated pieces of The Outfield’s “Your Love,” Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance,” and Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack.” With each interaction between guitarist Trace Sisson and bassist Kenneth Conton, it was hard not to flash back to last fall's Bastille show at NRG Arena. It’s amazing to me that, despite what talent Bastille does have, that a band like Lost Element has yet to be picked up and signed by a record label.
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Then again, that could all change very soon.
You see, not only was Friday night Lost Element's kickoff party for “25,” it was also a celebration of the start of their radio campaign and success for the music video for said single. The band is currently working for a fall release date for their album, Stereo Dream, which could come around the same time as their upcoming full U.S. tour with Portland-area group The Cry. And with an opening spot on next month's Bud Light Weenie Roast at the Woodlands Pavilion, hosted by The Buzz, it’s clear that Lost Element has continually made the right turns to take them down the road they’re traveling.
The Openers: Four-piece If the War Should End opened the evening and blew me out of the water. They have a diverse sound that remains cohesive and refreshing, and is very radio-friendly. Second act onstage was King Finn. If I had to guess, a lot of these guys have graduated from former hardcore or pop-punk acts, and they’ve got the chops to prove it. Sometimes they reminded me of Coheed and Cambria, other times I was getting a Head Automatica vibe (especially from the the vocalist).
The Crowd: A mixture of family, friends and fans; exactly what you’d want to see for a local act playing such a big show.
Random Notebook Dump: “That’s the real shit, dude” — A man in his thirties wearing light-up, neon orange glasses to his friends after Rod Ryan introduced Lost Element.