By: Jody Lynn Jackson
Despite the fact that it was 8 degrees and snowing, Paradise Fears fans came out stronger than ever to fill up the room and show their support and dedication. THE DYNAMIC AT GRAMERCY THEATRE GREW GRADUALLY, BEGINNING WITH A QUIET AND ATTENTIVE AUDIENCE, TO A CASUAL DANCE PARTY, ENDING WITH AN EXPLOSION OF PASSION FOR THE THROWBACK PARADISE FEARS SONGS.
The performances from openers revved the fans up for the headliner, beginning with a six song solo-set from Jon Masters, and an eight song set of groovy jams by Doc Robinson. DR is a six-piece, Columbus based band, and they brought the dancey tunes, and good vibes. The audience of predominantly female attendees came ready to party!
Masters opened with just an acoustic guitar and wooed the crowd with charm and humor. He joked, “I didn’t expect to see this many of you here for my set, and listening so quietly too!” After Masters, Doc Robinson’s used the stage to showcase their music, the kind that’s back in the pocket, with feel-good lyrics that make one subconsciously begin to move around to the music.
Paradise Fears came to the stage with passion and energy from the start, and the fans responded accordingly. Singing along to their old favorites, the crowd seemed as if they’d been waiting for this moment. Truthfully, they have. Hailing from South Dakota, Paradise Fears began their musical journey in 2007, and after releasing three EP's and three albums, the band took a hiatus in 2015. Vocalist Sam Miller stated in a blog post that the band isn't breaking up, they are slowing down and exploring other outlets - "as long as the six of us exist, there will always be a paradise fears."
During the Paradise Fears hiatus, fans have been wondering, “what the heck are these guys up to?!” Vocalist Sam Miller said that in 2017 they were all taking up different projects the last couple years, improving, growing, and moving in the direction of some assorted passions. “I don’t know if y’all noticed, but my dance moves got a lot better in 2017,” he said, and honestly, he’s not wrong. They’ve been up to a host of other things individually, but they swear that PF is and “always will be together.”
Drummer Lucas Zimmerman left the band in June 2014 to return to school to do humanitarian work. We have so much love and respect for all of the great things that Lucas has already accomplished and will continue to achieve. Vocalist, Sam Miller, is publishing his first novel, A Lite too Brite. We are very excited for this novel, since Sam is such a linguistic person and we know that we will not be disappointed. You can pre-order that HERE (available May 8th). Guitarist, Jordan Merrigan, has been delving into his photography (which is quite incredible), and you can check out some of his work HERE. Jordan has also been playing guitar alongside Dylan Schneider (Interscope Records). Pianist/vocalist, Michael Walker released an EP, The Shift, in February 2016, and you can purchase it HERE. Michael also offers private piano lessons via Skype time to time, so make sure to check out his website. Although we are unsure of when the next Paradise Fears show will be, we do wish them the best of luck on their future endeavors and hope to see them again soon!
"See, we don’t really care who you are. We’ve kinda got this non-exclusive policy of determining exactly, who we open up to and let into our family, and then who becomes a part of our united mass of harmony. And that’s kind of become the thesis to this song, Through suffering, acceptance, grief, and strife. There’s no way that your puzzle piece fits into our puzzle wrong, ‘cause everyone is welcome on this stage that we call life. And we don’t really care who you are, Everyone is capable of looking up and wishing on a star. So catch it, so contagious, this day-dreamer’s disease. And hope can be your sword, slaying darkness with belief. And we don’t really care who you are, Regardless of how lost you are returning from, regardless of how far. So bring me all the worst of your broken, bruised, insane. Because that’s the thing with music: when it hits, you feel no pain. No matter what you did, I promise we forgave it. When all that’s left is your voice, you’ve got no choice but to raise it. All you broken hearts, all you dejected dreams. Put your hands in the air, and let me hear you scream.
Because even broken wings can fly away."
"Sanctuary" - Paradise Fears
Photos: Jody Lynn Jackson
Article: Jody Lynn Jackson + Nicole Juliette Hetlyn