I raced through the light security at Skully’s Music-Diner at 8:04 p.m. Friday night to catch the end of “Free and Lonely,” one of my favorite X Ambassadors songs. X Ambassadors were openers for Lights (the band, not the Tom Edison invention). The place was filling up, but no one there seemed too adamant about copping a good view because they happily stepped aside as I politely elbowed my way to the front.
“Unsteady,” was definitely the shining beacon of the X Ambassadors’ performance last night. Lead singer Sam Harris transitioned from his chest to his upper register smoother than anyone could slide into your DM’s and exaggerated the crescendos with such extremity, it was hard for me to understand the complacency of the crowd.
From my view on the steps, I could count on one hand how many people who appeared to be enthralled by the band at any given time. Don’t get me wrong, most people were nodding their heads a bit, but it was the type of show where the band would preface a song by saying something like, “Would you guys mind if we play ‘Unconsolable?’” in order to get a little reaction, but there would only be one gal in the very front who would lose her beanie over it and start screaming.
Sam Harris’s saxophone excerpts seemed to perk a few ears, though. If it had been a room full of me’s, everyone would be pulling at their hair in lust at the tall, bearded man in the leather jacket and sweats playing on his sax.
But if Sam Harris wasn’t enough to look at, his very skinny brother, Casey Harris, over on the keyboard certainly was. I give him an honorable mention for committing to a dinosaur-like, leg thumping dance moves while smashing the keys for the entire duration of the set.
Now, the arsenal of this four-member band– including Noah Feldshuh (guitars) and Adam Levin (drums)– hailing from the streets of Ithaca, New York may not be huge since they’ve only been around for six years, but I tip my hat to them. Their performance last night was a combination of a very tasteful arrangement of music rather than banter between the band and the audience.
Sam Harris gave a final salute to Columbus with his sax in the air.