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When starting off learning an instrument or playing in a band, the first thing everyone does is start playing other bands music. It’s a great and fun way to learn your instrument, and it makes you feel like the rock star you are emulating. As bands develop, they will go onto writing their own music and finding their own sound. However, most bands will still perform a cover or two over their career. Finding someone else’s song that they love, but they want to transform it and make it their own. One band that took the idea of transforming some one else’s song and making their own is Our Last Night, who have self-designated themselves as the “World’s Best Cover Band.” Our Last Night is specifically known for taking pop songs, hip hop tunes, even Disney classics, and turning them into post-hardcore beats that metalheads can mosh to. After three years of not playing a live show, Our Last Night came to The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA on their Welcome Back Tour. Bringing with them Fame on Fire and Rain City Drive.

First up for the night was Rain City Drive. I was fortunate enough to see them last year and was very excited to see them again. Vocalist Matt McAndrew comes across as one of the most charming frontmen in the post-hardcore genre, and he has the pipes of an angel. Lead guitarist Weston Richmond and rhythm guitarist Felipe Sanchez work together perfectly to create melodies and drive in their guitar lines, that you can’t help but air guitar to. Bassist Colin Vieira and drummer Zachary Baker hold down the low end and maintain a solid beat that fans can head bang to. Even though it was raining and quite chilly this night, Matt got the venue all steamy as he tied off the top of his jump suit and bared some skin for the ladies. Rain City Drive played some of their best hits which included “Prayers,” “Talk to a Friend,” “Dreams,” “Heavier,” “Blood Runs Cold,” “Waiting on You,” “Dying For,” and ending their set with “Cutting it Close.” Rain City Drive continues to put on solid shows, and I hope to see them on their own headlining tour soon enough.

Up next was another band that developed a following doing a lot of covers, that is Fame on Fire. Even though they are known for a lot of their covers, Fame on Fire has started to make a name for themselves and their own music with their last album, Welcome to the Chaos. Opening the night with “Rotting Away,” vocalist Bryan Kuznitz stepped out into a dimly lit stage and just let the energy of the crowd simmer. This was a bit softer way to start the set than I had expected, but as the song built and guitarist Blake Saul started pulling out some of the crunchiest riffs, the lights came up and the crowd started going wild. Bassist Paul Spirou grooves along with drummer Alex Roman powerful double bass beats perfectly. Spirou and Roman’s beats let the crowd bounce to the rhythm of every song. Bryan Kurnits has a powerful voice that he uses to move between melodic clean singing, to more aggressive screaming, and busting out vicious roars when needed through songs like “Her Eyes,” “Welcome to the Chaos,” “Robbery,” “Emo Shit,” “Ketamine,” “Lost in Doubt,” “Cut Throat,” “Headspace,” “Signs,” and “Plastic Heart.”  Fame on Fire prove they are more than just a cover band, as every original song that night had people singing band to the band and rocking out.

As the crowd awaited their headliner to hit the stage, a lighting rig was setup in the Observatory that made this 1,200 capacity venue feel like we were at a stadium show. Our Last Night hit the stage with the Masked Wolf song “Astronaut in the Ocean,” and their lighting rig lit up the stage. You could tell that co-lead vocalist Trevor Wentworth was eager to be on that stage that night, as his energy could not be contained. Multiple times jumping onto the back of the security barricade and singing right into the faces of the screaming fans, who ate up every second of it. Handling the other half of co-lead vocals and guitar was Matt Wentworth, who refused to be stuck behind the mic stand and would rock out across the entire stage. Drummer Tim Molloy was a bit lost visually in the back due to the massive lighting rig, but his playing was could not be ignored. Molloy finds the perfect balance of taking pop beats and making them metalcore. The night was filled with a good mix of both original Our Last Night songs and covers that included “Same Old War,” “BURIED ALIVE,” “Road to the Throne,” “abcdefu” originally by GAYLE, “Broken Lives,” “Flowers” originally by Miley Cyrus, “NO HELP,” “Common Ground,” “you broke my first” originally by Tate McRae, “Graveyard,” and ending their set with “Sunrise.” Our Last Night played a 17 song set that never let the energy die down or waiver.

The Welcome Back Tour was a unique one as Trevor explained. As when the pandemic hit, Our Last Night wasn’t sure what the future of their band was going to be, or even if there would be a tour in the future. Luckily for the fans, Our Last Night did decide to come back, and the fans showed up in waves selling out the Observatory. Reassuring that Our Last Night has a dedicated fan base that is ready to rock out with the band any time. Fame on Fire and Rain City Drive continue to build their fanbases and prove they can get a crowd jumping and going crazy. I can’t wait to be back at the Observatory, or seeing Our Last Night, Fame on Fire, or Rain City Drive next time they are in town.


Matt Martinez

Editor - Orange County

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