Paper Route On the Road to Success

Paper Route
House of Blues – Chicago, IL
October 10, 2009

Paper Route House of BluesEven though Paper Route hail from Nashville, Tennessee just like touring mates Paramore, I couldn’t help but wonder why both bands were on the same bill (or tour for that matter) last Saturday night at Chicago’s House of Blues. Paper Route’s MySpace page categorizes the foursome’s music as being Indie / Ambient / Electronica. I would place Paramore more in the Pop / Rock / Christian field. However, iTunes lists both bands in the Alternative genre. The track “Gutter” off Paper Route’s latest release Absence even had a retro feel to it during the chorus. Whatever. In other words, I’m trying to say that I have no idea how to classify Paper Route’s music and didn’t think Paramore’s headlining ‘brand new eyes’ tour was the best opening slot for the band. But someone out there did. Putting my opinion on tour billing aside, I am thankful for the opportunity to have seen Paper Route perform live in concert for the first time this past weekend.

More photos of the guys in Paper Route after the jump…

Set List / Chicago



Are We All Forgotten

Enemy Among Us

Tiger Teeth

You Kill Me


Dance On Our Graves

Paper Route House of Blues(rhythm guitar)

Paper Route House of BluesAndy Smith (vocals, guitars, harmonica)

It was interesting to see a band like Paper Route have two lead singers taking turns with lead vocal responsibilities. Both Andy Smith and J.T. Daly proved ambidextrous with their voice as one instrument while simultaneously playing the guitar and keyboard, respectively. Smith and Daly, being the multi-instrumentalists that they are, handed off the tambourine back and forth to each other throughout their set. We all need a little tambo in our lives, I suppose. To round out the band’s live sound, a rhythm guitarist performed with Paper Route. I always enjoy when bands bring along more players for the live show when touring. It just sounds so much better when there are more instruments and/or voices performing a song that requires those extra elements to sound even remotely similar to the album recording of the composition. Unfortunately, I could not find out what this rhythm guitarist’s name is to give him credit in the photos.

Paper Route House of BluesChad Howat (bass, piano, programming)

While Paper Route conducted a brief soundcheck moments before their set began, girls pressed up against the barricade in the front row inquired about the personal life of lead singer / guitarist Andy Smith. I clearly recall hearing one young lady in particular ask Smith, “Are you married?” after catching a glace of his wedding band. Upon receiving confirmation that indeed, Smith is a married man, the same girl (or her BFF sidekick) exclaimed something like, “Your wife is a very lucky woman!” Ahh, the typical tween crowd and their raging hormones. It’s not about the music for some fans, it’s about the cute boys in bands. Although at first glance, my friend Sarah and I did make the observation that the Paper Route dudes resembled clean cut preppy frat boys. A few were decked out in white button down dress shirts, and the drummer Gavin McDonald went all out and was rocking the suspenders!

Paper Route House of BluesJ.T. Daly (vocals, keyboards, percussion)

Paper Route House of BluesGavin McDonald (drums)

Throughout Paper Route’s performance, I could not for the life of me think of what other band and/or artist PR reminded me of. Some names that came to me were Hey Champ or MGMT? During the slower songs, maybe OneRepublic or Carolina Liar? During the faster, more poppy songs maybe Hellogoodbye? Sarah and I were racking our brains mentally searching for what other bands fall into the dance / pop / rock / electronica genre of music. I may be totally off here, so let me know what your thoughts are. What do you think about Paper Route’s unique (or maybe not at all unique) sound?

Click on thumbnails to enlarge images:

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  1. lisa says:

    Oh man.
    I’m glad that paramore fans got a glimpse of the greatness that is paper route. I’ve been listening to them for some time and they are just amazing.
    they will be huge one day.

  2. Jake says:

    Paper Route is awesome!

  3. Sarah says:

    I really enjoyed the show! I thought they were pretty good considering I never heard of them before lol! Great photos as usual!!!

  4. Tara says:

    the rhythm guitarist is Josh Orr

  5. DIana says:

    Paper Route is epic. PERIOD. :)

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