Sound Bites: Daughtry, Pony League, and more

Pony League

Sunday, March 11
Peace Center
300 S. Main St.
7 p.m.

When Daughtry, the hard-rock band led by “American Idol” fifth-season finalist Chris Daughtry, released their self-titled debut album in 2006, it was a huge hit right out of the box, selling over 5 million copies on the strength of singles like “It’s Not Over,” “Home,” and “Over You.” It would have been difficult to maintain that level of white-hot popularity, but even in an era where music buyers tend to prefer singles over albums, Daughtry has remained popular, moving hundreds of thousands of copies of their subsequent releases every time. Still, their 2013 album, “Baptized,” was a curveball to their longtime fans. Chris Daughtry worked with an expanded group of musicians rather than the core group, and the album was full of nods toward electronic music, with programmed beats and keyboards prominent in many of the songs.

For their upcoming release, due later this year, Daughtry says that phase of the band’s music is over. “There are way more guitars on this one,” he says. “’Baptized’ was the biggest departure we’ve ever experienced with our sound. This one is more of a rock record, but it’s also the most mature our songwriting has ever been.” As for the live show at the Peace Center, Daughtry says the set list will be “the most diverse set list we’ve played in years.” “We’re going back through the catalog and finding songs we haven’t played in 10 years,” he says. –Vincent Harris

Friday, March 9
Pony League w/ Mason Jar Menagerie and Tom Angst
Radio Room
110 Poinsett Highway
9 p.m.

Pony League’s second album, “A Picture Of Your Family,” is a step backward in the best possible way. The album’s thick rhythm section, creamy piano chords, layered vocal harmonies, and crisp guitars are reminiscent of the analog classic-rock recordings of the 1970s. Even indie bands recording in their bedrooms have access to the technology to create technically pristine, crystal-clear music, but Pony League’s approach makes them feel like a lost band from the Laurel Canyon era.

“I think there’s a few different words that apply to the album,” singer Gus Fernandez says, “like ‘throwback’ or ‘vintage,’ but I like to use ‘timeless.’ There’s a lot of awesome stuff being done with digital technology, but there’s something to be said a song that, at the end of the day, you can take out all the effects and it’s still a great song with just an acoustic guitar and a voice or a piano and a voice. We’ve never really had a desire to add anything other than what we have already.” –Vincent Harris

Wednesday, March 14
Gang Of Thieves
200 Eisenhower Drive
9 p.m.

On their new EP, “Totem,” the Burlington, Vt., quartet Gang Of Thieves has concocted two flat-out hard rockers and two funky groove tunes, sequenced so that one genre follows the other. It sounds like a conscious move, but bassist Tobin Salas says it’s just what they do. “For us, it’s kind of what comes out,” he says. “Every musician is an amalgamation of their influences, and I think those two genres of rock and funk have lot more in common than people realize. They both have this bigger-than-you-are kind of sound that’s very primal.” The band had a fluctuating lineup up until 2016 when they jettisoned the extra horns and guitars for a steady four-piece lineup. It’s a straightforward sound, at least until singer Mike Reit adds his dexterous electric violin to the mix. “It’s been a lot of fun because I grew up playing and now I can do solos that used to be done on guitars,” Reit says. “It gives us something that other bands don’t have.” –Vincent Harris



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