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Fired Up! A Night in New York City with Plain White T's

Two decades has only further solidified Plain White T’s impactful mark on the music industry. The years have shaped this band as one of the leading artists in the alternative rock scene, and there’s no question as to why. From classics such as “Hey There Delilah” to fan favorites including “The Giving Tree,” it is safe to say you’ve heard of Plain White T’s before, whether on the radio by chance or while shuffling through a playlist of liked songs. Plain White T's has a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers especially, who are all practically born knowing the city-related anthem "Hey There Delilah." Even in the middle of the week, New York City surrounded the stage in the intimate concert hall, Le Poisson Rouge, for a nostalgic and outstanding performance from the quintet.

As the venue began to fill, fans swarmed in closer to the stage for the New Jersey four-piece kicking off the night. Pollyanna entered with an unforgettable stage presence, immediately belting out their power-pop hit "Relationship Anxiety," which had the crowd dancing along by the first anthemic chorus. Consisting of lead singer and guitarist Jill Beckett, drummer Daniel McCool, bassist Brandon Bolton, and guitarist Jack Rose, the name Pollyanna derives from the dictionary definition, "to be unreasonably or illogically optimistic," a fitting definition for the entire band's radiating charisma. The band started when Dan and Jill were just 13 years old, with Brandon later joining in 2019 then finally Jack completing the lineup at the start of 2021. Although relatively new to the scene, Pollyanna has attracted a dedicated fanbase on the East Coast and in New York, they are surely ones to watch in the scene!

At the forefront of the stage stands Jill Beckett. With lime green hair that glows and a guitar slung over her shoulders, Beckett's bubble-grunge vocals compel the audience and leave you wanting more. Beckett truly embodies an entire stage, even while playing guitar, she bounces from one end to the other, her energy spilling over into the crowd. Flanking the vocalist are the talented musicians who make up Pollyanna. Lead guitarist, Jack Rose, with the addition of Beckett's rhythms, provides another depth to the music, further drawing in the ears of new listeners while the bassist lays down grooves that reverberate through the venue, keeping the audience moving to the beat. The drummer drives the rhythm forward with precision and intensity, in addition to unwavering energy, his beats serving as the heartbeat of the band's sound. Together, Pollyanna creates a sonic tapestry that is at once dynamic and evocative, weaving together elements of rock, pop, and indie sensibilities.

Headlining the tour series and closing off the night at Le Poisson Rouge was the beloved American pop-rock band Plain White T's. Plain White T's exude an effortless charm and infectious energy that has endeared them to fans around the world for, now, two decades. With their catchy hooks, relatable lyrics, and undeniable chemistry, the band creates music that resonates with listeners of all ages and has ultimately stood the test of time through generations.

At the heart of Plain White T's sound is their signature blend of pop-rock sensibilities, characterized by upbeat rhythms, memorable melodies, and heartfelt storytelling. From anthemic sing-alongs to introspective ballads, their music runs the gamut of emotions, capturing the highs and lows of life with honesty and sincerity. Led by lead vocalist Tom Higgenson, the band's lineup also includes Dave Tirio on rhythm guitar, Mike Retondo on bass guitar, De'Mar Hamilton on drums, and Tim Lopez on lead guitar. Together, they form a tight-knit unit that seamlessly blends their individual talents into a cohesive musical force.

While "Hey There Delilah" may be their most well-known hit, Plain White T's have continued to evolve and innovate with each new release. From their early punk roots to their more polished pop-rock sound, the band's music has matured and diversified brilliantly over the years, reflecting their growth as artists and individuals. Their most recent album, self-titled Plain White T's, was released just this past November through Fearless Records and the band has been on tour in support of it since January, making rounds in many major markets before ending in Utah in just a few days. In addition to their North American run, the band will also be hitting select cities in Brazil later this year.

As the lights begin to dim and the crowd's excitement reaches a crescendo, the stages comes alive with the sound of guitars and drums. Plain White T's take their positions, greeted by cheers and applause from the eager audience. Lead vocalist Tom Higgenson steps up to the microphone, his charismatic presence immediately capturing the attention of everyone in the venue. With a grin, he launches into the opening lines of "Our Time Now," one of the band's 2005 hit songs, setting the tone for the intimate and nostalgic performance to come.

From the first chord to the last, Plain White T's deliver an unforgettable show filled with anthemic choruses, memorable hooks, and contagious rhythms. Guitarist Tim Lopez, in collaboration with Tom Higgenson at times, trades blistering riffs and melodic solos, while bassist Mike Retondo and drummer De'Mar Hamilton provide a solid foundation that keeps the music driving forward.

Throughout the set, the band effortlessly transitions between their signature pop-rock sound and more intimate acoustic moments, showcasing their versatility and musicianship. Whether they're performing crowd favorites like "Rhythm of Love" or debuting new material, Plain White T's keep the audience captivated from start to finish.

But perhaps the most memorable aspect of Plain White T's live show is the sense of connection and inclusivity they foster with their fans. The set began with a message from the band members themselves, greeting fans to the live experience and offering them the opportunity to vote on the final song of the set. Between songs, Tom Higgenson shares stories and anecdotes, inviting the audience into their world and making them feel like part of the venture. Fans sing along to every word, their voices blending with the band's in a chorus of unity and joy. The band even began their encore by adding another song to their usual setlist which a fan had requested earlier that night.

With their infectious energy, heartfelt performances, and genuine connection with their fans, Plain White T's prove time and time again why they're one of the most beloved bands in pop-rock music.



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