Hurt and Smile Empty Soul Blow Away the Crowd at Up or on the Rocks
November 17, 2012
Hartford was in for a treat on Thursday night when WCCC packed the house for a night with Smile Empty Soul and Hurt. Known for 2003's Silhouettes and Bottom of a Bottle, Smile Empty Soul are no strangers to the rock scene, having toured with band such as Three Days Grace and Crossfade. The trio have been at it with just three members since the beginning, an impressive and rare feat among today's rock bands. Their set was a combination of old and new, featuring their classic singles, as well as brand new tracks from 2012's 3's, and 2009 rock radio hit Don't Ever Leave. Despite having only three members, the band's energy on stage is contagious. Without the luxury of being able to run around the stage, frontman Sean Danielson amps up the crowd effortlessly.
Hurt took the stage after a tough set to follow, opening with Volume I track Unkind, keeping up the fast pace with fan favorite 10 Ton Brick next. Lead singer J. Loren soon brought out his violin, though the heavy riffs and energetic drums never ceased for a second. The signature Hurt sound was evident in Loren's incredible violin solos in Fighting Tao and the beautiful Danse Russe.
Loren was sure to amp up the crowd constantly, shaking hands with everyone he could reach, and even walking atop the eager hands below before falling into them to crowd surf his way back to the stage. Drummer Victor Ribas proved his place as a fairly new addition to the band, grinning nonstop throughout the bands set and putting 150% into the show.
Bassist Rek Mohr and guitarist Michael Roberts also showed their amazing ability and talent, a clear requirement to join the seemingly overly talented and extremely underrated band.
Following their set Loren asked everyone to stop by before they leave and have a drink or shake his hand, noting that he would not be on the stage doing what he loves if it weren't for every person in the room.