Vacationer (photo: Cindy Huang)
On Thursday February 27, the line at the New Parish is out the door and approaching the restaurant on the corner. Guests are clad in sparkly outfits and bubble with excitement.
Vacationer takes the stage around 9:30pm. Normally a four-piece band, only lead vocalist Kenny Vasoli is present. He’s there to play Wavelengths, the band’s fourth studio album, which was released in September. Wavelengths is a 14-track album devoid of the sky-shouting vocals (or rather any vocals) that once characterized Vasoli. Formerly part of emo/pop-punk band the Starting Line, Vasoli founded Vacationer in 2010 to escape the screaming demands of his former role. Vacationer is a direct contrast to that, defined by its dreamy sounds and breezy melodies. Wavelengths is a modest demonstration of Vasoli’s self-taught music production skills, all performed and recorded in his own home music room over several years.
The show begins with funky synth beats as mesmerizing visuals dance across the display. Vacationer plays the whole A-side of Wavelengths before he ditches the bass and dances along to his own hypnotic beats. The crowd bobs with an energy that parallels the tropical ambiance.
Midway through the set, we get a chance to hear the familiar vocals as he picks up the bass again and dreamily sings “take a vacation from my arms.” It’s hard to believe that this voice on the backdrop of soothing instrumentals is the same voice as the all-too-distinguishable one that gave us the iconic line “we got older, but we’re still young” from the Starting Line’s hit track “Best of Me.” We got older, but thankfully Vacationer’s sounds remind us we’re still young.