By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: The Orpheum, Tampa, Florida–May 25, 2017
Real Friends has been described as an American pop punk or emo band from Tinley Park, Illinois. Kyle Fasel (bass guitar) and Dave Knox (lead guitar, backing vocals) started the band in 2010, joined by Dan Lambton (lead vocals). After going through a series of rhythm guitarists, Eric Haines became their permanent second guitarist in 2011, and sometime later that year Brian Blake replaced the original drummer, bringing them to the lineup they’ve had since.
Their setlist included many of the songs that have made them a band growing in popularity, and half the time the audience sang along with songs like Empty Picture Frames, Colder Quicker, Loose Ends, Floorboards, Late Nights in My Car, Mokena, Lost Boy, Old Book, Stay in One Place, …And We’re Just Changing, Sixteen, and I’ve Given Up on You.
Not that singing was all the crowd was doing, there was also pogo, moshing, crowd-surfing, and a lot of slamming in the circle pit – I kept my cameras well away from that area, but as you can see people were having a great time!
I have to make special note of their innovative set design, which looks like your living room on steroids with punk flavor – and the lamps are really part of the light show, not just props, but blended into the show lighting.
The tour continues through August, heading into the Northeast and Midwest, after which…you’ll just have to find out from their up-to-date (woohoo!) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the Real Friends website!
When not in custody, I've been involved with music, photography, and writing my entire life. Ever since I was a young boy and played those silver tunes, I've had the beat, but being a drummer didn't suit me so I became a lead singer, which lasted a few years. Settling down, sort of, I translated my knowledge of audio and glib tongue into mobile emcee work, and my training as a photographer and videographer into a living in the wedding, party, bar/bat mitzvah, and entertainment industry. During this time I also managed to bamboozle my way into a master's degree in writing, worked for a couple of magazines (yes, I took photos for a nudist magazine!), have photographed hotels, done commercial work (shot the cover of Tablet and Capsule magazine), published a few articles, hosted some public access shows (a couple times in drag, but that's another story), and generally made a nuisance of myself until I landed here.