There's no better day to have a show than Valentine's Day. Just knowing that four outstanding acts will be performing on the same stage that same day makes you want to drop whatever you’re doing and leave, to where ever it may be. I made it into Lincoln, Nebraska not even nearly knowing what I was getting myself into, but I was sure hoping all of these musical performances would be good. These three other acts all leading to the most anticipated one of the night, which was The Hand Me Down Kids. The show started off with Alli and I, a one man band that consists of Andrew and his guitar. The indie/ acoustic sound ended after four mellow songs about the inspirations of Andrew, and everything that happens in his life. It wasn’t too crazy, and it was nice to stand and listen to something you knew everyone in the room could probably relate to.
Alli and I had to make their way off stage for another amazing act to set up. The next band was Paradise Fears, and before that day, I had honestly never heard of anything like them. They have a total of six people in their band and I had no idea what was going on, who was doing what, and how they were all going to make it work. I didn’t realize that you could put that many people in a band and still make everything sound so good. Being only juniors in high school, all 210 people in that venue seemed to enjoy every lyric and beat they put down. Sam, vocals, really knew how to get the crowd going, as he ran back and forth across the stage jumping around getting everyone to jump along with him to a crowd favorite “Vice Versa.” What I thought was interesting though, was when Michael, who was playing the keyboard, switched it up with an acoustic song, and started singing and took over Sam’s spot. They were both phenomenal singers along with Cole, who also sang, and played rhythm guitar.
They made their way off stage after their last song, only for another band to get on stage, the last one before The Hand Me Down Kids performed. By this time, the whole crowd was getting anxious enough to want to jump around for Sail by the Stars, which was the next band who came on set. I knew I had heard of the band name somewhere, and then it hit me. The song “Icebergs are for Penguins” was to be played on MTV’s Real World Brooklyn. It was such an amazing experience to know that one of their songs was going to be played on MTV and they were standing right in front of you playing it for the crowd that you were standing in. Sail by the Stars is one person, Josh, except he had a band to back him up for the show. Josh plays all the instruments to put the songs he wants together, and he’s so talented. All of his songs had meaning to them, and he was a really good act to put before the one that the whole crowd was about to go absolutely crazy for. Josh definitely has an acoustic/ rock/ powerpop sound to all of his songs, and his music was different to the point where everyone in the room seemed to like it.
Josh made his way offstage after about five songs, and finally, the band that everyone had been waiting for started to set up. The Hand Me Down Kids consists of Lamoni Finlayson (Vocals) Fletcher Sherwood (Guitar) Paul Knapp (Guitar) Brandon Butterfield (Bass) and Anthony Butterfield (Drums.) Before they even started, the crowd was screaming with anxiety. We all just couldn’t wait for them to start. With the first beat of the drum, everyone started jumping, and a select few from the crowd threw some confetti on the stage. I don’t believe on person stopped jumping through out there whole entire performance, starting with “The Comeback” and ending with a cover of a mesh between Blink 182 and TLC. With Lamoni’s unique voice, he started it off, and the whole crowd sang every single lyric along with him. They all had great stage presence and there songs just got everyone in a happier mood to want to interact with them more. Every time he would hold out the microphone for the crowd to sing along, we would do so not missing one beat. It was kind of cool to look back and see everybody jumping in rhythm with the beat of Anthony’s amazing talent on the drums.
After the first song, they performed a new song they had just released a clip of called “Despite the Distance.” Even though they only released a clip of it, more than half to the crowd knew every single word to the song from previous shows that they have been to. They then slowed it down a bit with a song called “Memories and Meltdowns.” This song had originally been written by Lamoni, and he later decided to put it up on their acoustic bands myspace, From A Whim. They took the original song Lamoni had written, and put a new kind of twist on it. A twist that The Hand Me Down Kids could get the crowd more involved in. The song now was not only acoustic, but they added in drums and more guitar, and it sounds amazing. They also played their other songs “Heart to Molly” and “Liquor Makes a Liar,” which is their newest full song to their myspace player. This all lead up to a crowd favorite “College Girl Queen.” There was so much crowd interaction with this song that I never wanted to leave. There were so many people jumping up and down to the beat of that song, that you could actually fell the floor sink beneath your feet if you stopped jumping. I just couldn’t believe that such a small venue could hold that much excitement. “College Girl Queen” was their last song, but no one wanted them to stop playing. As soon as that song was over, the crowd started to chant “One more song.” To our surprise, they actually played another one, and it was in honor of Blink 182 getting back together. They blended a song in with “Scrub” by TLC. They put a definite rock sound into which made it sound phenomenal. Unfortunately, the show had to end, but it was definitely a night to remember and I’m sure everyone will be talking about this Valentine’s Day show for weeks, maybe even months. It was such a great experience to see all those great bands perform together, and to see the crowd go wild over The Hand Me Down Kids.
The Hand Me Down Kids will be touring during March, and I highly suggest that you try to make it out to one of their shows. They’re absolutely amazing, and they make sure to meet their fans after the show. It’s an experience of a lifetime to watch them perform, and I know that all of you would enjoy it.
Atheena Wagner is a staff writer in the Midwest region for Musiqtone.com. You can reach her at [email protected]