By Carly Brach
You know that feeling of anticipation when you go to a concert for your favorite band? Standing in line outside to get you ticket punched and your arm banded, the crowd of people filing into the venue, watching the roadies set up the stage, and the sound crew adjusting the speakers that will no less alter your hearing for the next day and a half. There is nothing quite like it. The only problem is, now you must wait. Soon the lights dim, and now “some band” comes out to play. Yes, the opening act is ready to start the party, but you don’t really care because you know your band is only a stage curtain away, and they are the reason you came. I must admit, I was this person.
As I eagerly awaited Candlebox to come out on stage this summer at Chicago’s House of Blues, the opening band was announced to come out and get the night started. Their name was Small Town Sleeper. All I could think about was how I hoped they would only play a few songs so that Candlebox would come out to play, but those thoughts were soon hushed as Small Town Sleeper began to vibrate the walls of the House of Blues with the vocals of Troy Brown, the cords of Derek Snowden and Ryan Monge, and the drums of Dann Burd. As they shook the house with songs such as “Candy”, “I Have Been Waiting”, “Let Me Go”, and “Blue Skies Red”, I found it amazing that a band that had never been heard by this crowd of people seemed to captivate its listeners. The crowd found themselves singing along as if these were songs they had known for years. As the band finished their set, there was a turbulence of cheers as the band left the stage. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been at a concert where the opening band received that kind of response.
I found myself wanting more. Any band can sound talented under the wings of a good recording studio, but the true testament of artistry and talent is in live play, and these guys absolutely deliver on both. I purchased Small Town Sleeper’s then unreleased CD entitled ‘Conversations…’ at the back of the venue, which I played the whole hour drive home and admittedly have had a hard time removing from the clutches of my car stereo since.
Small Town Sleeper has a pop rock sound with a balanced mix of alternative rock that reminds the listener of what early Matchbox 20 and The Goo Goo Dolls sounded like before they fell into the world of corporate radio sound and solo artist dreams. The lead singer, Troy, has a raspy sweetness that makes lyrics from their tracks “Song for the Summer” and “Can You Relate Too?” purr through your stereo speakers. The guitar, bass, and drums ooze a heart-
This band can’t be a sleeper much longer, so this is your wake up call! Be sure to give this up-