Friday afternoon I headed out to catch the final show of Gentlemen’s Crow’s summer 2022 tour at Murray Hill Theatre in Jacksonville. As expected for a summer afternoon in Florida, the drive was shrouded in scattered thunderstorms and Independence Day Weekend traffic. When I arrived at the venue around 6:30pm, constant and close lightning kept me sitting in the parking lot for a bit. Even after living in Orlando, the “Lightning Capital”, for a few summers, this would make the list of storms I didn’t want to be outside in. I was (and am) probably being dramatic, but I don’t like lightning. As I waited, other cars pulled up and their passengers sprinted across the lot, seemingly more concerned about the rain than the thunder. It definitely wasn’t going to keep them from the show. Eventually I mustered up the courage to make the very short run to the covered box office and got inside with about 15 minutes to spare before the opening set. I used this time to do some exploring, as this was a venue I’d never been to before.
If you hadn’t known it already, there’s a chance you wouldn’t notice that Murray Hill Theatre is a Christian venue. Only the lack of alcohol (other refreshments are available) and a sign by the stage steps reading “No Swearing, Alcohol, or Vaping” give it away. Altogether, the atmosphere was unique to any other club I’ve been to. Located in a building that once was a movie theater, Murray Hill features a large projection illuminating the back of the stage and a slanted floor that allows even audience members in the very back to have a great view. As someone who is pretty short, I appreciated this detail. Just beyond the entrance a loft area overlooks the main floor and local vendors have tables set to sell everything from organic body scrubs to pressed florals and upcycled thrift items. The vendors stayed for most of the show but I did notice that shortly after the end of the final set all but the merch stands had cleared out. If you plan on doing any shopping, I would recommend taking time before the show or between sets.
A few minutes after 7:00pm the first band took the stage. The Third Estate is a ska punk band based out of Jacksonville, FL. Only three of the band members were there to play, Harry, the lead vocalist and bassist explained. Apparently, their drummer has moved to Tampa – this news drew a loud chorus of “boo’s” from the crowd (and the band). That wasn’t going to stop them! Lilli, on the keyboard, was able to control pre-recorded drum tracks from her laptop. Even though this was the first set of the night, a crowd already began to form at the base of the stage. Fans were excited to get involved, clapping and dancing along with the music.
The Third Estate
Harry Mulholland – Vocals/Bass Guitar
Kyle Lowery – Guitar
Lilli Mulholland – Keyboard
Next up was Cinema Stereo, an Orlando rock group I have seen a few times before. I always enjoy watching their set, and this was no exception. One thing that was new tonight was a mosh pit that opened up about halfway through the set. The band describes their own music as “sun-soaked” rock n’ roll, and much of their branding contains sunflower imagery, blue skies, and colorful murals. It was jarring to see a pit open up – to see what I mean listen to “No One Needs Your Love (Like I Do)” and imagine girls in bell-bottoms dancing to your left and a mosh pit to your right. Everyone participating wanted to be and those who wanted to get out were able to do so, so no harm no foul, it was just different. Many of the songs they played were off their self-titled debut album, which dropped exactly one week prior to this show. Even when playing the newest releases, their fans in the crowd were singing along to every word.
Ian Rayha – Vocals/Bass Guitar/Keyboard
Sebastian Borysek – Guitar
Luke Pate – Drums
Liza Attic occupied the third slot of the evening. They are an indie rock band out of Florida and had a much more relaxed sound compared to the previous acts. Their setlist included most of the songs off their new EP, The Loft, released back in May 2022. During their set couples swayed and danced along as lights illuminated a disco ball above, a lighting effect that hadn’t been used yet. This band seems to be composed of many multi-talented musicians; a few songs in, EJ on the keyboard and Jordan on the bass switched places. Even looking on their Instagram to get the members names I saw John (who was on drums) playing guitar with Cole on drums. I am not sure if they have specific songs that they switch for or if it changes from night to night and I’d be interested to see if this drastically changes the music from show to show. I’ll have to catch another one to find out!
Max Higney – Vocals/Guitar
Cole Ohallaron – Guitar
EJ Rivers – Keyboard/Bass Guitar
Jordan Smith – Keyboard/Bass Guitar
John Jones – Drums
2.) No Control
3.) Say So
4.) Baby Doll
6.) May 17th
7.) The Night
8.) Too Much To Ask/Casino
At this point, the crowd had grown to be quite sizable. The front half of the floor up to the stage was packed in and groups spread out to cover the back. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a crowd so engaged for every band playing and I was surprised by the fact that, even though the audience leaned toward the younger side, there weren’t many phones up. Not to judge – I am that person with the phone when I can’t have a camera. All that aside, it was refreshing to see that everyone was singing along, dancing or laughing with their friends. It really felt like the whole crowd was in good spirits, enjoying the music on a Friday night out.
Closing out the evening was Gentlemen’s Crow, who took to the stage around 10pm. Earlier in the afternoon they had played a separate show supporting the Shinedown album release After Party in St. Petersburg. After a minimum 3.5 hour drive I can’t imagine pulling up, unloading, and doing it all over again. They must’ve been tired at this point, but it didn’t show. The set started off very strong, with a grittier sound than the rest of the bands and green and white lights to match. This was probably my favorite light scheme of the night, it was very dramatic and on brand – a glance at the band’s Instagram will show that green and black is a commonly used palette. If you enjoy listening to their current releases and haven’t caught a live show yet, I would highly recommend doing so. Jacob’s drum and Alex’s guitar solos especially pack quite the punch in a live setting. Another highlight of their show would have to be the crowd. This band has built a very active community; every fan was moshing or singing along, eager to experience the music they loved to the fullest. It is clear that the band values the scene they have fostered and the ability to connect with it’s members through these live shows. Multiple times throughout the set Cameron and Matt were on their knees playing to the audience at eye level. At one point during the first track, “Howlin'”, Cameron even knelt down, forehead to forehead, with one fan and played from there – a special moment for both, no doubt. At the end of their final song, Jacob threw his drumsticks out to the audience… but wait! The crowd began cheering for an encore. Since these were his last two sticks, Jacob had to request them back. The girls who’d caught them originally were happy to oblige, and Cameron promised to return them when they were done. After the show finished, many of the members of Corpus Corvis (a community for fans of the band and their related ventures) stayed behind to take a group photo and mingle. The band members joined them, hanging out to meet new fans and catch up with those they’d met before. This show concludes the 2022 summer tour which included stops along the east coast all the way up to Philadelphia, PA and Nashville, TN. Their debut album Apparitions dropped earlier this year and is available to stream now on all major platforms.
Cameron James – Vocals/Guitar
Alex Sandlin – Lead Guitar
Matt Tobert – Bass Guitar
Jacob Mayo – Drums
2.) Scraping Truth
3.) Overtime (Unreleased)
4.) Parallel West
5.) Did I Get the Picture?
6.) Good to Be Here (Unreleased)
7.) Flippin’ On a Switch (Unreleased)
8.) Breathe (Unreleased)
9.) Quandary (Encore)
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