House of Blues – Chicago, IL
February 22, 2010
I will be the first to come clean and admit that if it were not for MTV’s “reality” (read: totally scripted) television show “The Hills,” I would never have heard of the band Vedera. Therefore, I want to get it over with and say “Thank You!” to MTV and “The Hills” for introducing me (and all of the show’s millions of viewers around the world) to an awesome band, great songs, and a female vocalist who can really sing. It also needs to be said that I only watch “The Hills” for the music that is featured on each episode. Whoever is responsible for the music supervision on this show is pretty good at what they do. Of course, there are a lot of mainstream pop songs on select episodes, but that is to be expected. Just about every song on Kelly Clarkson’s latest record was licensed and synched for the show last spring when her album was released. Cross-promotion at it’s best! Overall though, I discover some of my favorite new artists and music from catching brief samples of songs while having “The Hills” on in the background. I’m never actually paying attention to what is happening on my laptop screen, but when I hear a melody, beat, chorus, or voice that I like, I sure as hell jerk my head to look and see what is playing. When I found out Vedera was coming to Chicago this month, I jumped at the chance to catch the band perform live in front of me versus watching them chat with Audrina and Lo on TV…
More photos of Vedera after the jump!
Set List / Chicago
A World Apart
Goodbye My Love
If You Go
While watching The Hills (Season 5) | Ep. 12 | ‘Mess With Me, I Mess With You’, Smashbox Studios and Epic Records (Audrina’s “employer”) hosted a Vedera Showcase in which the band performed multiple songs in an effort to promote their major label debut record Stages. Two songs were aired on the actual episode: “A World Apart” and “Satisfy.” The first of these two has lead singer Kristen May playing the keyboard, which is a foolproof method of demanding my respect. The latter of the two has May playing the electric guitar, which is a foolproof method of making me seeth with envy for just a few seconds. Playing the keyboard/piano is something I can do, but I have yet to master the guitar. Vedera singer Kristen May is blatantly proficient in both instruments, plus singing and writing songs. This chick is pretty much the kind of girl I want to be.
As expected, Vedera included both “A World Apart” and “Satisfy” in their set when they performed in Chicago this past Monday opening for headliner Jack’s Mannequin. Although it was nice to be familiar with a couple of the Kansas City, Missouri band’s songs, I was more excited to hear new material from the foursome’s recently released album Stages. Out of the chosen eight compositions I heard at the show, “Goodbye My Love” had to be my favorite, hands down. The chorus resonated in my head all night long, simply because it’s so damn catchy. “We Sing,” the final song of Vedera’s set, was the perfect choice for an opening act to serve as a stellar home-run ending. Seriously, Kristen May’s vocals on the minor key melancholy hook of “We Sing” hit the ball right out of the park. I was blown away by the sound being belted out of this tiny girl’s voice. Where did it come from?!
Moral of the story? Don’t judge a band by their appearance on “The Hills.” If an artist and/or band is being heavily marketed by Epic Record in Los Angeles, chances are that they will be featured on an episode of “The Hills.” That is, as long as Audrina still “works” there. And usually, that particular artist/band is truly talented. Final note: don’t judge me because I watch “The Hills.” It’s one of the best ways to discover new artists and songs. Trust me, you should give it a try…
Jason Douglas (bass guitar)
Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos: