It is not because I become unnecessarily giddy when Hillshire Farms commercials appear on the box in my living room, or because AdAge andAdFreak are part of my Twitter community, do I advocate the art of Advertising. It is because only when brands like Nivea and Zales find the right tune to back their message is a spot elevated to the next level – the Google level, if you will. At the Google level, crazed Gen-Y-ers frantically type in as many search terms as their brains can rally to find that catchy song intermittently playing commercial breaks between The Office and 30 Rock.
Parachute the band - not the life saving device - opened for the Plain White T's at House of Blues Dallas on February 13, as the audience made sure to DVR the 53rd GRAMMY Awards before leaving the house. Having recently graduated from UVA in 2008, the multi-talented artists have been friends for a number of years. Switching from one instrument to the other, bandmates Will Anderson and Kit French remind me that while Justin Bieber has a cool story, he’s not the only talented kid with a guitar and a video camera.
Concerts have taken on an entirely new meaning with the advent of smart phones. As soon as Parachute walked on stage, digital cameras, Flips, iPhones and Androids set sail in the air on a musical wave, veering starboard for port YouTube. Lead singer Anderson points to the girls in the front row and they respond by seeing how far their vocal chords can stretch.
Parachute harnesses a high school cult following. “I love you, Nate!” Teenage girls scream out toward the guitarist. In each song, musical interludes are filled with the fuzzy static of lustful teenage screaming. Parachute performs “She (for Liz)” from 2009 studio album Losing Sleep, cover of Tom Petty's “I Won’t Back Down” and current single, “Something to Believe In” from upcoming record, The Way It Was, dropping April 12.
They play “She Is Love” and yes - now I know where I’ve heard them before. They may have even convinced me to purchase Nivea lotion.
“This song is about stalking somebody,” said Anderson of the final song, “Ghost” and jumped into the crowd without a waver of his streamlined vocals, like a freight train built without break pads, heading for a tour with Parachute as top billing. If there is a need for one to make teenage girls go absolutely insane, this is the way to do it.
Bands, if you are ever curious about your worth to an audience, throw your drums sticks; guitar picks – nay – used water bottlesinto the audience and gauge their reaction. If these actions result in catching of the aforementioned items and/or an earful of screams resembling night terrors, you are probably nearing iTunes Top 50. And any mainstream band that can make kids think saxophones are cool is okay by me.
Photography by Giovanni Gallucci