Set It Off Unveils ‘Hypnotized’ Video

Set It Off seriously set it off this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Hypnotized’ this week. Directed by Matt Alonzo (Xzibit, Tyrese, The Game), the high, energy video sees the band performing its new single in a specially lit set with plenty of fast-paced cuts and special lighting. Audiences can see the video online now here.

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

Front man Cody Carson said creating the video for ‘Hypnotized’ was just an important process for the band, adding he hoped the band’s fans would enjoy the partnering of the song and its new video.

“We are extremely proud to present the music video for our latest single ‘Hypnotized,’ Carson said. “Writing this song was an extremely cathartic experience with all of that pent up pent-up anger being let out; Making this video felt no different. We understand how important it is to be able to let out your anger, unleash your inner demons and just act out every once in a while.  Songs like this allow you to do that.”

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

‘Hypnotized’ is taken from the band’s latest full-length studio recording, 2016’s Upside Down, which was released via Equal Vision Records.  The record debuted at No. 10 on Billboard’s Digital Albums Chart; No. 10 on its Independent Albums Chart; No. 11 on its Alternative Albums Chart; No. 13 on the Top Rock Albums Chart; No. 20 on the Tastemakers Chart; No. 22 of To Current Albums Chart and No. 51 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart. The Top 200 ranking made Upside Down Set It Off’s highest charting album to date.

Set It Off wrapped its latest North American tour with Simple Plan this week and will join With Confidence on a string of U.K. dates beginning next month before rejoining Simple Plan for the next leg of its North American tour beginning Aug. 18.  The bands’ current tour schedule is noted below.


Set It Off w/ With Confidence 
May 23 Bristol, UK @ Marble Factory
May 24 Manchester, UK @ Sound Control
May 25 Glasgow, UK @ G2
May 27 Birmingham, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival
May 28 Leeds, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival
May 29 Hatfield, UK @ Slam Dunk Festival [ SOLD OUT ]
May 31 London, UK @ 02 Academy Islington

Simple Plan w/ Set It Off 
Aug 18 Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
Aug 19 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart’s
Aug 20 Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
Aug 22 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Aug 24 Dallas, TX @ House of Blue
Aug 25 Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
Aug 26 Austin, TX @ Emo’s
Aug 28 Flagstaff, AZ @ Orpheum
Aug 29 Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
Aug 30 Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
Sep 01 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
Sep 02 Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre [ SOLD OUT ]
Sep 03 Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre

More information on Set It Off’s new video, single, album, tour and more is available online now at:










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Set It Off’s Latest LP Boasts More Upsides Than Down

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

This coming March, Set It Off will perform live in North Carolina’s “Queen City” as support for Simple Plan’s 15th Anniversary Tour.  The bands will perform live at The Fillmore Charlotte on Wednesday, March 22nd.  While Set It Off is acting as direct support on the tour, that doesn’t lessen the importance of its performance.  That is because the band is currently touring in support of its latest full-length studio release, Upside Down.  The band’s third full-length studio recording, Upside Down was released last October via Equal Vision Records.  It is a stark departure for the band both in terms of its musical arrangements and its lyrical themes.  Both elements are key pieces of the record’s overall presentation.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the record’s overall presentation.  All things considered, Upside Down offers far more upsides than down.

Set It Off’s third full-length studio recording Upside Down was a big risk for the band.  That is because it is such a stark departure for the band in comparison to its previous two albums and its previous EPs. In examining the album in whole it proves to be a risk that was worth taking.  The record’s arrangements clearly support that statement.  Gone are the heavy, angsty, guitar-driven arrangements presented in the band’s previous offerings.  They have been replaced here with arrangements that prove to be far more accessible to mainstream audiences than those aforementioned arrangements.  The arrangement presented in the record’s title track is a prime example of that more commercial, mainstream sound.  The keyboard-driven composition is more akin to something audiences might hear from Maroon 5, Andy Grammar and others of that ilk than the Fall Out Boy, etc. sound for which it has been known.  ‘Diamond Girl,’ with its blatantly 80s-influenced sound—more specifically Richard Marx influenced—the band exhibits once again just how far it has departed from its previous sound this time out.  ‘Admit It’ is one more clear example of the importance of this record’s arrangements.  This song presents a blatantly Top 40, pop-centric arrangement that can easily be compared to so many of today’s top pop acts.  It is hardly the last song that could be cited in explaining the importance of the record’s arrangements.  The arrangement presented in ‘Life Afraid’ is another keyboard-driven composition that would be a perfect fit for any club.  The hip-hop arrangement at the center of ‘Hypnotized’ stands on its own merits, too.  Between that arrangement and all of the others noted here, it becomes clear just how important the arrangements presented in Upside Down are to its overall presentation.  They prove that while they do make the record a stark stylistic departure from the band’s past records, that risk paid off tenfold.

The arrangements that are presented in Set It Off’s latest full-length studio recording present a sound that is a stark departure for the band from its previous records.  That includes its EPs and full-length studio recordings.  They present sounds that are far more accessible to mainstream audiences than those in the band’s previous records.  As important as this record’s arrangements are to its presentation, they are not the only stark departures present in this record.  The lyrical themes presented throughout the album stand out just as much from their predecessors as the record’s musical arrangements.  ‘Uncontainable’ is a clear example of how different the record’s lyrical themes are in comparison to those of the band’s previous albums.  This song’s lyrical content presents a very positive message to audiences about standing tall and proud.  It tells listeners to not let anyone or anything hold one down.  ‘Admit It’ is another one of those songs (or at least seems to be) that is centered on a broken relationship.  That is nothing new for the band.  What is different here is the approach that the band has taken with its lyrical content.  Rather than being one of those angry pieces so common on the band’s previous records, it is more a standard breakup piece.  It sounds just like something—some will hate this critic for this—that any of today’s Top 40 acts would churn out, pointing fingers about a breakup.  ‘Never Know,’ with its positive message about taking risks is a perfect illustration of the risk taken by the band here.  It also serves to motivate listeners to take their own choices even despite naysayers who might try to hold one down.  It is just one of the lyrically positive pieces presented in this record, too.  Between those songs, the others noted here and those not noted, it becomes entirely clear why the lyrical themes presented in this record are so important to its presentation.  When they are set alongside the album’s musical arrangements, both show just how big of a risk Set It Off took on this record and how much that risk paid off.  While both elements are clearly important in their own right to the album’s presentation, they are not its only important elements.  The record’s overall sequencing is just as important to note as its arrangements and its lyrical themes.

The musical arrangements and lyrical themes presented throughout Upside Down both show a band that took a huge risk in comparison to its previous records.  They also show a risk that paid off quite well.  While they are both important to the record’s overall presentation, showing why that risk paid off, they are not its only important elements.  The record’s sequencing is just as important to its presentation as its arrangements and lyrical themes.  From beginning to end, the band keeps the energy moving.  That in turn assures even more listeners’ maintained engagement and enjoyment.  That is just part of what makes the sequencing so important to note.  On a deeper level, listeners will note that the band varies the arrangements from one song to the next, too.  It opens with something of a pop-rock arrangement in ‘Something New’ before moving to a more Top 40 Pop sound in ‘Uncontainable,’ the record’s second track.  ‘Life Afraid,’ the record’s third song, is a more club style song in its arrangement.  The band moves back in the pop direction with the record’s fourth track, its title track.  The moody, modern, keyboard-driven arrangement at the heart of ‘Want’ switches things even more.  The variances in the arrangements definitely don’t end there, either.  Rather they continue right to the record’s end.  Those variances in mind, and the energy that is so expertly balanced from start to finish, it becomes clear why this record’s sequencing is just as important to discuss in its importance as its arrangements themselves and the record’s lyrical themes.  All things considered, the elements noted here come together to show Upside Down as one quite a risk for Set It Off, but a risk that paid off in the end.  That is because they come together to show this record has far more upsides than down.

Upside Down is a record that shows great growth from Set It Off.  That is because it presents the band really stepping out of its comfort zone and taking a huge risk both musically and lyrically.  That risk paid off quite well, with the end result being a record that displays far more upsides than down.  From the wide array of musical styles presented in its arrangements and the mix of themes in its lyrical content, the album doesn’t just sit on the band’s past laurels.  It keeps the band (and fans) moving forward.  All things considered, Upside Down proves to have far more upsides than down.  It is available in stores and online now.  It is available at each of the band’s current live shows, too.  That includes the band’s upcoming show in March in Charlotte, NC.  More information on that tour, the band’s new album and all of the band’s latest updates is available online now at:










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Set It Off Shows Telling “Stories” Can Be A Good Thing

December is nearly halfway through. That means that 2015 is inching ever closer to its final days. As those days become fewer and fewer, it means more certainty for the critics’ year-enders. This critic has held off as long as possible. But now the lists are final. And there are a lot of them, too. Beginning today, Phil’s Picks will feature one new “Best Of” list each day right up to New Year’s Eve. Each list presents not only the ten best new releases in each given category but five extras that get special recognition for a total of fifteen titles. So let’s get things going. Without any further ado, here is the first of those lists, 2015’s Best New EPs. So few people give EPs the credit that they so rightly deserve. But the reality is that for many acts EPs are just as important as LPS. For many acts, the EP is the very first taste of what may or may not be to come for a band. For others it’s more or less a contractually obligated space filler. Regardless of the situation, the fact of the matter is that the EP is just as important as the LP. That being the case, this critic has compiled once again a list of the year’s best new EPs. And this year, that list is topped by Set It off and its new EP Duality: Stories Unplugged. Independent rock act Lawless Hearts make the list, too with its new EP Creatures of Habit as well as Amaranthe with its acoustic EP Breaking Point: B-Sides 2011 2015. These are just a handful of the names to make the list this year. The complete list of this year’s best new EPs as presented by Phil’s Picks is noted below.



  1. Set It Off — Duality: Stories Unplugged
  2. Adrenaline Mob — Dearly Departed
  3. Zebrahead/Man on a Mission – Out of Control
  4. Patent Pending – Armageddon
  5. NoMara — …And So It Begins
  6. Lawless Hearts – Creatures of Habit
  7. Amaranthe – Breaking Point: B-Sides 2011 2015
  8. Nation Beat – Carnival Caravan
  9. De’Anza – Despertar
  10. The Devil Wears Prada – Space
  11. Galley Beggar – Silence and Tears
  12. Broadcasters – Spin
  13. Infidel – Infidel
  14. Collie Buddz – Blue Dreamz
  15. Straight Line Stitch – Transparency


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Set It Off Returning To The Road Again In Early 2016

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

Set It Off is heading back on the road again.

Set It off announced this week that it heading back on tour next Spring. The band will take part in the “Fight For Something Tour” beginning Tuesday, March 1st in Chicago, Illinois. The band will share the stage with co-headliner Tonight Alive and support acts The Ready Set, and SayWeCanFly for the length of the tour.  VIP pre-sale begins next Tuesday, November 3rd. General ticket sales begin next Friday, November 6th. After the tour winds down on March 27th, the band will then perform a pair of solo headlining dates on April 4th and 6th in San Antonio, TX and New Orleans, Louisiana respectively. The complete schedule for the “Fight For Something Tour” is noted below. It includes a stop in North Carolina on Thursday, March 10th.

Set It Off and Tonight Alive w/ The Ready Set and SayWeCanFly
Mar 01 Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
Mar 02 Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
Mar 03 Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot
Mar 04 Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
Mar 05 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
Mar 06 Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
Mar 08 Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
Mar 09 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Mar 10 Greensboro, NC @ Greene Street
Mar 11 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
Mar 12 Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theatre
Mar 14 Houston, TX @ Walters
Mar 15 Dallas, TX @ Trees
Mar 17 Phoenix, AZ @ Nile Theater
Mar 18 San Diego, CA @ Soma
Mar 20 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
Mar 21 Sacramento, CA @ Ace Of Spades
Mar 23 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
Mar 24 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
Mar 26 Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
Mar 27 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater

Set It Off
Apr 04 San Antonio, TX @ Korova
Apr 06 New Orleans, LA @ Parish at House of Blues

The band just recently finished off an extensive tour schedule that included the whole of the 2015 Vans Warped Tour, a Canadian run with All Time Low, and a European/UK run with Mallory Knox. The band also recently premiered the video for its song ‘Wild, Wild World,’ which can be viewed online now via YouTube at The song is featured as part of Set It Off’s latest EP Duality: Stories Unplugged. The record was released June 23rd. More information on Set It Off’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:



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Everything Old Is Truly New Again On Set It Off’s New EP

Courtesy:  Equal Vision Records

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

Set It Off has only been around for about seven years.  That is not very long in terms of a band’s life span.  Yet in that short time, the band has been quite busy to say the least, releasing three EPs and two full-length albums since its formation back in 2008.  Now only a year after the release of its sophomore album Duality, Set It Off is back again with its fourth EP and sixth overall release.  The EP, Duality: Stories Unplugged is a selection of songs lifted from the band’s second album (released just last year) and stripped down.  Bands recording stripped down, acoustic takes on their own songs (and those of other acts) is nothing new in the music industry.  Considering this it is sometimes difficult to find an acoustic album that really stands out among the crowd in question.  It is safe to say that Duality: Stories Unplugged definitely stands out in this year’s crop of acoustic albums and EPs.  That is because the six tracks that make up the body of the disc actually achieve the goal explained by front man Cody Carson in a recent interview regarding the EP.  It actually presents five tracks that hold their own identity separate from the band’s original compositions.  The sixth track is a never-before-released acoustic composition that boasts an identity all its own.  Because of that it proves to be one of the best examples of what makes Duality: Stories Unplugged stand out both from its “sister” album and from other acoustic albums and EPs released so far this year and in turn proves to be one of the best new EPs of the year.

Duality: Stories Unplugged is one of this year’s best new EPs, hands down.  It is also one of the best new works that Set It Off has released so far into its life.  The six-track disc is such an impressive release in that each of the re-worked tunes featured on this record establishes its own identity apart from the original songs from which they were lifted.  That is most clear in the stripped down, full-on acoustic take of ‘Bleak December.’  In comparison to the original song included in the band’s 2014 album Duality, this song is the polar opposite of that piece.  The guitar line in the song’s original take presents an almost pop punk-oriented sound.  For lack of better wording, that sound gives the original take an almost sarcastic feel.  That is especially the case when that line is set against Carson’s own vocal delivery.  The new, acoustic take, on the other hand, presents a much darker, moodier vibe.  The gentle tones of the piano set against Cody’s own reserved vocal style and drummer Maxx Danziger’s use of a cajon adds even more of a different vibe to the song.  All things considered here, ‘Bleak December’ really becomes a whole new song apart from its original take.  Truth be told it actually sounds better and more fitting with the song’s lyrics in which Carson sings, “Gimme, gimme, gimme the truth now/I promise I can handle it, if you can/Cause you’ve been running from yourself for way too long/So gimme any reason not to cut you out/You’re far too gone/Watch you pretend you know it all/Shift any blame aside/Vending the victim when it sells/How do you even sleep at night as I drive and drive/In that bleak December/You’re just too cold/But I need the answer/Before you’d fold/You would hold your cards inside your chest/I think I drove too far/For that bleak December/And how full of s*** you are.”  The combination of the noted elements makes this take of ‘Bleak December’ a whole new work and makes it just one example of why Duality: Stories Unplugged is one of Set It Off’s best works to date as well as one of this year’s best new EPs.  Audiences can hear the new take on the song for themselves online now at

Set It Off’s re-working of ‘Bleak December’ anchors the band’s new EP.  Thanks to the thought and work put into the song, it stands out as a song almost entirely separate from the song’s original take.  It is just one piece that makes the record stand out.  The band’s re-working of ‘Why Worry’ stands out in its own right, too. While it maintains the same sound as the original take, this full-on acoustic take driven largely by guitarist Dan Clermont’s piano work and drummer Maxx Danziger’s time keeping. Carson’s own delivery style even boasts its own power as he sings, “Have you noticed that you’re breathing/Look around and count your blessings/So when you’re sick of all this stressin’and guessin’ I’m suggestin’ you turn this up and let them hear you sing it/Chin up/Quit acting like you’re half dead/Tears can only half fill how you’re feelin’/Don’t worry be happy baby/Stand up life is too damn short/That clock is ticking/Man up/If ya feel me everybody sing it/.” When the rest of the band joins in on the song’s chorus, there’s still a certain power there, even with the band members’ vocals being pulled back in comparison to what is there in the song’s original take. The end result of the song’s stylistic re-work is a song that is in this case just as good as the original. The musical re-working coupled with the song’s lyrical content makes the song just as powerful and impressive. Both the musical and lyrical content taken into consideration, they make this take of ‘Why Worry’ even more reason that Duality: Stories Unplugged stands out as one of Set It Off’s best recordings to date and one of this year’s best new EPs.

The newly re-worked versions of ‘Bleak December’ and ‘Why Worry’ are two clear examples of why Duality: Stories Unplugged is one of Set It Off’s best recordings and one of this year’s best new EPs. The re-working of ‘Tomorrow’ is one more example of what makes this record such a standout collection of songs. Much like the re-working of ‘Bleak December,’ this composition gives the song an identity almost entirely separate from that of the band’s original composition. Both takes offer a wonderfully positive vibe in their own right both musically and lyrically. But the stylistic approach of the acoustic take makes the song even harder-hitting than the full version presented in Duality. Clermont shines again here on piano. The combination of his talents set against the song’s string arrangements and Danziger’s timekeeping on the cajon give this take of the song an even more emotional punch than the one presented in the song’s original take. That is saying something, too considering that the song’s original take offered its own emotional punch. This take makes the song a full-on tearjerker that will still put a smile on audiences faces because of that punch coupled with its lyrical content. The lyrical content in question goes almost hand-in-hand with that of ‘Why Worry.’ That is because it says to listeners that no matter how bad things might seem in the moment, things will be better tomorrow, thus the song’s title. That is pointed out as Carson sings, “They’re gonna try to clip your wings/Lock you up and make you sing/But they’ll never cage your dreams/So fly away/Cause we’ve got tomorrow/We’re the pages in the wind/We’ve got tomorrow/We’re the tale that lies within/There’s always another day/Another night/A bittersweet blessing in disguise.” He goes on to sing in the song’s closing verse, “Sometimes you’re the spider/Sometimes you’re the fly/Flying towards the sky/Our starting line.” It’s a message of positivity and optimism. That message of hope set alongside the song’s new take makes it one of the record’s best moments. Together with the likes of ‘Bleak December’ and ‘Why Worry’ it makes that much stronger the argument in favor of this record. That is not to discount the other trio of songs included on this record, either. All three of those songs each offer their own share of enjoyment, too. All six songs together make Duality: Stories Unplugged a record that is again, one of Set It Off’s best to date and one that is one of this year’s best new EPs overall.

Duality: Stories Unplugged only runs six songs deep. But that does not take away in the least from the record at all. That is because the re-worked arrangements of the band’s previously released songs give each of the songs in question their own identities separate from the originals. Some of the songs are as good as the originals. Some are better than the originals. Regardless of whether they are as good as or better than the originals, the whole thing together proves to be some of the best material that Set It Off has crafted so far and in comparison to the other EPs out there, one of this year’s best new EPs. Duality: Stories Unplugged is available now in stores and online. It can be downloaded online via iTunes at and ordered via Amazon at More information on Duality: Stories Unplugged is available online along with Set It Off’s latest tour schedule and news at:




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Set It off To Release New EP Next Month

Courtesy:  Equal Vision Records

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

Set It Off announced this week that it has a new EP on the way.

Duality: Stories Unplugged will be released on Tuesday, June 23rd via Equal Vision Records. The six-track EP will feature fully stripped down, reworked versions of five songs from the band’s 2014 full-length release Duality. It will also feature a never-before-released acoustic piece titled ‘Wild Wild World.’ In anticipation of the EP’s release, Set It Off has premiered the video for the re-worked take on the song ‘Bleak December’ online. It can be viewed now at

Front man Cody Carson discussed what led to the disc’s creation noting that it stemmed in large part from fan demand. “We are so unbelievably excited to present to you: Duality: Stories Unplugged!,” he said. “We have received requests for an acoustic EP for a long time now and we had so much fun putting this together for you.” He also discussed what sets this disc apart from so many other acoustic collections, noting that “It was a huge goal on this EP to not just deliver the songs you already know with the only difference being that it’s on acoustic guitars. We took time to re-imagine some of these tracks. We wanted to name this Stories Unplugged because that is exactly how we look at these songs. These are all tales of different avenues of life we’ve walked down, and you’re along for the ride in a range of emotion and timbre. Thank you for your patience…I’m so glad we can finally provide you with this EP that we are so very proud of.” He went into even more specific detail giving as an example how the band came to its new take on ‘Bleak December.’ In regards to its creation, he said “In our acoustic arrangement of “Bleak December”, we took a more mellow approach and a more somber tone to deliver almost a whole new meaning to the song.” The track listing for Duality: StoriesUnplugged is noted below.


1. Ancient History (Acoustic)
2. Tomorrow (Acoustic)
3. Bleak December (Acoustic)
4. Why Worry (Acoustic)
5. The Haunting (Acoustic)
6. Wild Wild World (Acoustic)

Set it Off is currently touring across America in support of Duality and its upcoming EP. It is currently in the midst of the European leg of its tour alongside Decade and Brawlers. Beginning May 28th, it will make its way to Japan for a short string of dates there before returning to the United States on June 19th for the annual Vans Warped Tour. The tour includes a stop in North Carolina’s “Queen City” on Tuesday, July 7th. Fans can check out the band’s current tour schedule below.


Set It Off w/Decade and Brawlers

May 15 Wiesbaden, DE @Schlachthof

May 16 Hamburg, DE @Rock Café

May 17 Berlin, DE @Comet

May 19 Munich, DE @Backstage Club

May 20 Eindhoven, NL @ Dynamo

May 22 Oxford, GB @ Bullingdon

May 23 Leeds, UK @ Slam Dunk

May 24 Hatfield, UK @ Slam Dunk

May 25 Wolverhampton, UK @ Slam Dunk

The AP Tour – Japan

May 28 Nagoya, JP @ Imaike 3STAR

May 29 Nishi Ward, JP @ Socore Factory

May 30 Shinjuku, JP @ MARZ

May 31 Tokyo, JP @ ERA

2015 Vans Warped Tour: Journeys Stage

Jun 19 Pomona, CA @ Pomona Fairplex

Jun 20 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre

Jun 21 Ventura, CA @ Seaside Park – Ventura County Fairgrounds

Jun 23 Mesa, AZ @ Quail Run Park

Jun 24 Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater

Jun 25 Oklahoma City, OK @ Remington Park

Jun 26 Houston, TX @ NRG Park Main St Yellow Lot

Jun 27 Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion

Jun 28 San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center

Jul 01 Nashville, TN @ Tennessee State Fairgrounds

Jul 02 Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood

Jul 03 St. Petersburg, FL @ Vinoy Park

Jul 04 West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre

Jul 05 Orlando, FL @ Tinker Field

Jul 06 Jacksonville, FL @ Morocco Shrine Auditorium And Grounds

Jul 07 Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion

Jul 08 Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live

Jul 09 Pittsburgh, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion

Jul 10 Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center

Jul 11 Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Amphitheatre

Jul 12 Hartford, CT @ Xfinity Theatre

Jul 14 Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center

Jul 15 Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake PAC

Jul 16 Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center

Jul 17 Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

Jul 18 Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

Jul 19 Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

Jul 21 Scranton, PA @ The Pavilion at Montage Mountain

Jul 23 Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center

Jul 24 Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills Parking Lot

Jul 25 Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheater

Jul 26 Shakopee, MN @ Canterbury Park

Jul 27 Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

Jul 28 Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheatre

Jul 29 Noblesville, IN @ Klipsch Music Center

Jul 30 Bonner Springs, KS @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

Aug 01 Salt Lake City, UT @ Utah State Fairpark

Aug 02 Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center Parking Lot

Aug 05 San Diego, CA @ Qualcomm Stadium Parking Lot

Aug 07 Portland, OR @ Portland Expo Center

Aug 08 Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheater

Along with all of the latest tour schedule updates and news on its upcoming EP, Set It Off’s fans can also keep up with all of the latest updates from the band online now at:



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The Magic Show Act II Proves To Be Just The Beginning For The Members Of We Are The Finale

Courtesy: Houndstooth productions

Courtesy: Houndstooth productions

Typically when people think about Nashville, Tennessee, the first thing that comes to mind is country music.  Nashville is the home of country music.  Its Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry are shrines to the legends of country music for all intents and purposes.  So the thought that a rock band–a punk band no less–would rise among the country ranks and make a name for itself among that mass of counrty acts no less comes as something of a surprise. But when audiences hear the new EP The Magic Show Act II: The Turn from We Are The Finale, they will agree that this Nashville, TN-based band is set to finally start turning the tide in Music  City, USA and help make the city known for being more than just the capital of country music.  The Magic Show Act II: The Turn totals only five songs and sixteen minutes.  Throughout the course of the EP’s technically four full-length songs–the EP’s opener only runs fifty-one seconds and isn’t technically a song–front man Daniel John Schafer and band mates Bradley Gwinn, Brandon Keysey, Freddy March, and Ronnie Mills show quite a bit of diversity and talent.  They take listeners on a ride through some of rock’s sub genres throughout the record from the pop punk style of the EP’s first full track ‘Well Enough Alone’ to a semi-post hardcore sound in ‘…And Scene’ and an almost seemingly 80s influenced sound on the EP’s closer ‘The Honeymoon Phase.’  It’s tough especially in the indie rock world to find a record that crosses so many sounds within the course of its songs (Whether it be an LP or EP). But the members of We Are The Finale have done just that here.  Keeping that in mind, it helps to make this EP one that is deserving of at least one listen by audiences.

The members of We Are The Finale have crafted a record in its new EP The Magic Show At II: The Turn that is well worth at least one listen.  The reason being that through the course of the EP’s four full-length songs, the band refuses to stick to just one of rock’s various sub genres.  it switches things up from one song to the next, thus keeping audiences engaged from start to finish.  The record’s lead song ‘Well Enough Alone’ is proof of that.  The song’s slower, almost bluesy sound instantly hints at an influence from the likes of Set It Off.  Front man Daniel John Schafer’s lyrics add a certain depth to that musical side, too. He hits on a topic that quite a few men have dealth with in life in the form of a woman that causes a man no end of problems inside.  He sings, “Your eyes are telling lies/That your mouth is trying to hide/So now I gotta decide if it’s worth it/To keep this dragging on.”  Schafer writes in the song about how his subject is going crazy over the female in question, writing, “Girl, you got me faded (Whoa, I’m so smooth girl)/And now the groudn is shaking (Let me move you)/Now I feel like I’m six feet deep (You shouldn’ve known, too)/And the top of my headstone reads Leave well enough alone.”  In other words, the woman in question is killing his subject, metaphorically speaking of course.  What man hasn’t been in this situation at least once in life?  And while the song’s subject is obviously male, one could argue and flip it to have a female as the lead subject singing about a guy driving her crazy as that does happen, too.  That interchangability and the song’s musical side colletively make ‘Well Enough Alone’ a fitting opener for the band on its new record.

‘Well Enough Alone’ is a good first impression from We Are The Finale on its new EP.  This is especially the case for those that might not be so familiar with the band’s music.  That’s thanks to its mix of relatable lyrical content and equally interesting musical side.  Audiences that pick up the band’s EP will note that as enjoyable as this song proves to be, the band doesn’t resteasy on its laurels.  Rather it switches things up from here as is evidenced in the semi-post hardcore sound of ‘…And Scene.’  The song opens with the sound of an old film reel setting the stage for what is to come much like was done with old movies.  It is a fitting addition to this song, considering the song’s lyrical content.  Shafer sings in the song’s chorus, “All you ever wanted was to bust out on the scene/But I won’t let the scene change me/And all you ever wanted was a reason to feel this way/So now I’ll stay away/Away from you for a while.”  Before this, he sings, “My face fills with blood/Your face is so smug/So now I’ll take some steps away/This life you sell/It can’t be real.”   The song seems to come across as highliting the frustration felt by someone that has to deal with one of those overly annoying people who lives solely to bring others down one way or another.  Hopefully that interpretation is right as it is just the interpretation of this critic.  The song’s second verse strengthens the argument for this interpretation as Shafer sings, “I’ve heard these lies before/Back when I was young/And I am moving on my way/Now that I’m older I see all the things that I want/And I’m ready to plead my case.”  Again, Schafer comes across as targeting the people that would say whatever they want to others, knowing others would believe them and in turn allow themselves to be torn down emotionally.  It will be interesting to find out whether or not this interpretation is correct. Hopefully it is correct.  Regardless, the very fact that it could generate such discussion and thought by itself makes it well worth hearing.  The balance of Schafer’s clean vocals and his screams set against the song’s guitars and drums adds even more depth to the song, proving again what makes ‘…And Scene’ another part of a whole that any indie punk and rock fan will enjoy.

We Are The Finale shows throughout the course of both ‘Well Enough Alone’ and ‘…And Scene’ its musical versatility and its lyrical versatility, too.  The band exhibits just as much musical versatility in ‘The Honeymoon Phase’ which closes the EP.  The band’s use of keyboards throughout the song and the rather bombastic guitar solo incorporated into the song’s bridge adds its own share of depth to the song.  They collectively show something of an 80s influence.  There’s also a bit of a Fall Out Boy influence here, too.  Such a juxtaposition of sounds shows even more than ever the versatility of the band’s abilities and influences.  That versatility by itself makes the song one more good example of what makes The Magic Show Act II: The Turn well worth the listen.  The song’s lyrical side gives it even more depth as Schafer sings, “I’ll rip the ties that bind me to your walls/And I will grab hold of everything and try/To stay on my feet while you’re chasing afer me/Because this war torn heart can’t beat anymore/And I’ve lost my want to pick you off the floor/So stay on your knees and stop chasing after me.”  He goes on to sing of his subject taking the chance to tell a significant other that he/she loves someone in particular.  Yet in the song’s end, he sings, “Now we’ll stay forever broken-hearted/And destined to feel this way.”  It’s almost as if he is saying in regards to his subject that said subject will take the chance to express his/her love for a certain person even though it may be too late and regardless of not getting that chance again.  It’s something of a bittersweet song, when considered from this lyrical angle.  The song’s musical side complements that bittersweet feel, too. the two elements together make for a song that is just as solid as the EP’s opener.  It will leave audiences wanting more in the best possible way.  Audiences will get to hear more as the band has a pair of live dates currently scheduled.

Audiences can hear more from We Are The Finale live now as the band currently has a pair of live dates confirmed.  The band is scheduled to peform a live home town show tomrrow at Rocketown.  It is also schedule to perform at Exit/In in Nashville, TN on January 17th.  Audiences can purchase tickets for both shows online now and get the latest news from the band at Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest from the band online via Twitter at  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at