Author and Photographer: Josh Justice
Fans packed the aptly named Majestic Theatre for indie pop rockers lovelytheband’s “Finding It Hard To Smile” Tour stop in downtown Detroit. For their second headlining tour, lovelytheband brought along newcomers New Dialogue, and filling in for an ill Flora Cash, local musician HALA.
Detroit’s own Ian Ruhala and his band HALA kicked off the night with a bang. With John Kick on drums, Jake LeMond on bass, and Austin Blicher playing a “sexy” guitar (as one fan in the front row exclaimed), HALA turned the Majestic into a college basement party, perfect for the beautiful night in Motown. With a sound reminiscent of mid 2000s Peter, Bjorn and John, the crowd was captivated with “She” and “What Is Love? Tell Me, Is It Easy?” (songs from HALA’s debut album Spoonfed) and their latest single “Sorry”.
Taking the stage next was the female fronted, Los Angeles based New Dialogue. Fresh off tour with Marianas Trench, the alt-pop quintet, led by Ela Kitapci, serenaded the crowd with their melodic syth-powered singles “Neon Ocean” and “Fake Smile” from their debut EP “Teach Me How To Feel.” The band even treated the crowd to a fantastic cover of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up.” Ela and crew finished off their set with “Pilgrims,” offering words of encouragement with lyrics like “It’s a story for the ages, living off the pages. Where we’re going you can be anyone.”
With a stage lit by neon lips, headliners lovelytheband took their places. Kicking off their set, lead singer Mitchy Collins led with “Emotions” and “Stupid Mistakes” from their debut album “finding it hard to smile.” The fans in attendance were hardly finding it hard to smile as the band pounded through their 17-track set, including their radio smash hit “Broken.” A personal highlight from their set was their rendition of The Killer’s “Mr. Brightside.”
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