I do not know how long The Wide Awakes have been together. It’s just two guys, Justin Peterson on drums and Andy Strickland on acoustic and electric guitar.
They claim to be blues rock and rockabilly, but from what I heard, I would also have to add in a little indie punk, too. In fact, during their opening number, I leaned over to my friend and sang ” Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!” We both had a pretty hearty laugh, because The Wide Awakes have an obvious punk influence, along with their cowboy-ness.
I do not know if it was intentional, but their electric guitar and drums seemed to be the same hue of metallic blue. I kind of liked it.
They covered Coldplay and Johnny Cash, both a little differently than I expected.
I think Strickland uses the band to vent his political views and frustrations. More than once, I got that vibe from the lyrics I could understand. For example, from songs of theirs like “Busted” (which is about not having any money) and “The Guns of Brixton” (which left me speechless, but not because I was super impressed. Also, I could not tell if this was a cover of The Clash or not).
All in all, I liked them. They could be tighter and Strickland even admitted during the concert that he was out of tune, but we have all been there. One thing I think they could work on is melody lines. That seems to be the failing of a lot of bands. The Wide Awakes are strong, musically. I think that is evidenced by their song, “The Definites,” which does not actually have any definite words. I may have liked it because it was slower, but it also was mostly instrumental.
And then there was Till We Have Faces.
My wife and I had seen them before and we strongly feel that Till We Have Faces is what would be left after JET and Wolfmother were mashed together.
Both times they have only had three guys: Dan Fields on drums, Dillan Stracke on guitar and vocals, and Benjamin Wilson on bass and vocals. Although, to be honest, I could not understand a single lyric.They had tight grooves and repetitive riffs. Just some straight up rock. And they were loud. I think they pride themselves on their volume. And reverb.
Most of the time I was distracted by their disjointed “dancing” while they were playing. This photo of Stracke is a-typical, because both times I have seen them, nether him nor Wilson were wearing shoes. I just find that bit of their show odd.
But they are good. I would not be surprised if they actually make it somewhere. Here is a song I have heard both times I have seen them. Maybe not my favorite of theirs, but I feel like it is typical.