Station @ Gramercy Theatre (8/24/2017)

Artist: Station
Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Tempt
Date: 8/24/2017
Label: Independent Artist

Written By: Steven Stolper (copyright 2017) for PiercingMetal.com

If you are a fan of melodic rock of the kind played by Def Leppard and Van Halen, you know that there’s not much of that in the local music scene which is unfortunate. Blues rock, sure. Alterna-Pop indie grunge with progressive leanings, yes. Extreme metal of all flavors, why not. But if you want some good time rock n roll with catchy choruses backed up by decently played guitars with a wicked solo here and there, it’s pretty slim pickings. Two of the best groups carrying the torch for melodic rock/metal in the area are Station and Tempt. Shockingly, it seems that they have never played together before, so it was very exciting to see them on the same bill. Gramercy Theatre is one of the nicest venues of its size in the city, and a great place to see these local favorites.

Tempt took the stage first. Even though the band members are pretty young, they have been playing together for many years now, and their stagecraft is very polished. At some point, they had a different rhythm section. The current lineup is closer together in age which seems better for the band’s image. Interestingly enough the drummer’s father is also a drummer in a cool Canadian band called The Tea Party. They’re one of those bands that I’ve been a fan of but have never seen live. Maybe someday. A recent visit from fellow Canuck rockers Big Wreck, after more than a decade of absence, gives me hope. Tempt has an EP and a full-length album, Runaway, out, so plenty of material to choose from. Most of the night’s set was new music though. The new songs stay in the same bouncy pop metal/rock universe. A bit more of a slick pop sound to the vocal hooks maybe. More Hysteria than Pyromania so to speak. Front man Zach Allen is a very physical presence while belting out those melodies. Almost too active for this frustrated photographer trying to capture a moment. Guitarist Harrison Marcello’s creative soloing was a pleasure to listen to. The song-within-a-song kind of melodic compositions remind of Vito Bratta and Andy Timmons (from White Lion and Danger Danger respectively). Advanced technique but never overpowering the song. More John Norum than Yngwie Malmsteen if you will. The crowd liked what they were hearing and who could blame them. The band’s music is happy and easy to get into even if you don’t know the difference between White Lion and Black Sabbath. Band closed out the set with their anthemic first single “Under My Skin”.

Tempt Setlist:
1. Jane
2. Just Good Friends
3. Hideaway
4. Human Touch
5. Queen Of Kairo
6. Crossfire
7. Tonight
8. Helicopter Love
9. Ready To Go
10. Under My Skin

Station was the headliner of the night. A well-deserved position, after years of relentless touring definitely earned them a sizeable fanbase. Having seen Station several times before I knew what to expect – big catchy riffs, memorable choruses, and sweet lead guitars that make you want to follow along on your (imaginary) axe right then and there. I am not a big fan of the term “Hair Metal” but I guess it fits perfectly here since the band have some glorious manes that should earn them Pantene endorsements, if such things exist for the rockers nowadays. Fans of bands like Dokken and White Lion will definitely find a lot to like in the music of Station. Riff oriented songs like “Dressed to Kill” really get the neck moving, but in my opinion the band truly excels with more touching slower ballads like “All You Need Is A Heartbeat” and “Are You Sleeping Alone”. Singer Patrick Kearney really turns up the smooth and sexy range of his vocal with those songs. There were definitely some singalong moments there and the crowd responded nicely. Lead guitarist Chris Lane really puts the icing on the cake with some very melodic shredding that adds a lot to the songs. The band has one full album and an EP out. The setlist seemed pretty evenly split between those songs and some new material.

Station Set List:
1. IDWTKYN
2. Dressed to Kill
3. More Than The Moon
4. Cost of the Sand
5. Everything
6. Still The One
7. Never Enough
8. Bass Solo
9. Shot of Life
10. One and Only
11. Are You Sleeping Alone
12. All You Need Is A Heartbeat
13. More Than Enough

Official Websites:
Tempt: https://www.temptband.com/
Station: https://www.stationband.com/

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