The New Mexico State Fair kicked off with some serious excitement when Lifehouse performed at Tingley Coliseum on Saturday, Sept. 7, in support of its soon-to-be released sophomore album, Stanley Climbfall.
Launching the show, lead singer Jason Wade, a young Brad Pitt look-alike, made his way to the edge of the stage, staring out at the vast sea of smiling faces. Tucking a strand of wavy blonde hair behind his ear, he said with sincerity that New Mexico was one of his favorite stops on the tour.
The Albuquerque crowd, made up of mainly fresh-faced teenagers and Lifehouse-loving college students, couldn’t wait to hear tunes from the band’s multi-platinum debut album, No Name Face.
With soaring pop hooks and grunge inflections that characterize the band’s live work, Lifehouse has an undeniable chemistry.
Barely out of their teens, the three friends from L.A. have hit it big with such tunes as the innocent, melodic “Hanging By A Moment” and the edgy alternative “Sick Cycle Carousel.”
In New Mexico, the band’s songs came alive when bass player Sergio Andrade added an extra dose of funky rock grooves as he darted across the stage with his guitar.
Fans could barely make eye contact with Andrade because a gray sweater beany covered a good portion of his face. At one point in the show, Wade pushed the hat back, laughing at his friend. But the moment didn’t last long, and Andrade was back to conquering the crowd, looking like the guy from the famous Fat Albert cartoon.
It was too bad the sound system at Tingley was far from adequate. Concertgoers didn’t get a chance to understand a single word uttered from the lead singer’s lips. There was so much static, all of his “happy talk” in between songs came out jumbled and incomprehensible.
Although I would like to have known what the deep, insightful Jason Wade whispered to his fans, the audience who paid a little more than $14 to get in, roared with delight every time he opened his mouth. They didn’t care about the reception.
Completing the Lifehouse trio, drummer Rick Woostenhulme added some fresh beats to the band’s strong live performance. While some of the songs in their set sounded tirelessly similar, the lyrics about falling in love and living life to the fullest were uniquely presented by the earnest songwriter-singer Wade.
Out of all the new tunes performed at Tingley, Lifehouse rocked with “Stand, Climb, Fall,” based on the everyday character Stanley Climbfall who epitomizes the band’s upcoming album and symbolizes the changes we go through in life.
Through singing, Wade calls himself a storyteller. “I’m writing about how I view certain situations that I’ve witnessed or seen my friends in,” the singer has said.
“Most of the stuff is really positive and not written out of conflict. I’ve let the songs happen more on their own and accepted the song for what it is instead of making it into what I think I want it to be. I am trying to enjoy where I am at right now and take every day as it comes.”
The Lifehouse encore at Tingley Coliseum was a no-brainer. Fans knew what was coming — the band’s ultimate ballad and hit radio single, “Hanging By A Moment.” We sang along with Wade:
“Desperate for change/Starving for truth/Closer to where I started/I’m chasing after you.
“I’m falling even more in love with you/letting go of all I’ve held onto./I’m hanging by a moment here with you.”
Open, questioning. Lifehouse jumps from the crowd.