By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Crowbar, Tampa, Florida–July 26, 2017
The Rocket Summer is Bryce Avary’s solo project that has become his main occupation for seventeen years and counting (his first EP was released when he was 16!), culminating in the “DO YOU FEEL 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TOUR.” Bryce has shown himself to be a consummate showman and adept marketing guru, as well as a gifted multi-instrumentalist musician and songwriter. With and entrance backlit and surrounded by fog, the screams and applause from his many fans demonstrate his mastery of all three.
Even before the show got started, his skills as a marketing guru were evident. Along with the usual merch table, Bryce had set up a “photo booth” (photo stick?) where fans could take their photo – actually a short video – and have it automatically sent to their phones. Coincidentally, it also allows him to collect phone numbers for targeted texts announcing his next show in the area – sweet!
During the show, his hired guns – drummer and bass player, along with what I’ll call a quick change assistant who tuned and prepared the various guitars so he could switch them out instantly (no lagging moments in this show!) performed flawlessly, and allowed Bryce to showcase his mastery of guitars, keyboards, and even have a “drum battle” with the other drummer, leaving no doubt that he plays – and plays well – all the instruments layered into the songs on his albums.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Rocket Summer show without some crowd-surfing and interaction – this is not a standoffish prima-donna, but a man who likes to get out there and feel the support of his fans – literally!
And support him they did, singing along with both new songs like the recently released “Gone Too Long” to the entirety of the Do You Feel album, his third studio album. He has released six studio albums and several EPs. His fifth release in 2012, Life Will Write the Words, was 58 on The Billboard 200 and 12 on Billboard Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums as well as 12 on Top Independent Albums. His fourth release, Of Men and Angels, held the No. 1 Top Album spot on iTunes upon its release in 2010. AP Magazine called him one of “100 bands you need to know.” Avary’s sixth full-length album Zoetic released on February 26, 2016. The album has received the most favorable reviews to date. Alternative Press magazine gave the album 4.5 of 5 stars stating, “the album proves true to its namesake by roaring to life with unyielding passion, authenticity and a whole lot of guitars.”
Naturally, he’s on all the social media platforms that matter: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Youtube, Spotify (Including a playlist of the ’90s Alt/Indie rock he grew up on.), iTunes, along with his own website. Check him out!