The Calling performs in intimate venue

Grade: B+

In an age where pop is idealized with fancy costume and set changes, it is rare to attend a good, old-fashioned concert.

The Calling put an end to all misconceptions of modern rock when it performed in front of an intimate crowd of about 200 at Emerson Theatre in Indianapolis Friday night.

The concert seemed almost like a short-lived version of VH1's Storytellers -- without the chairs. The band -- whose recent single, "Wherever You Will Go," has become an instant radio hit -- appeared as if it were already passed the days of performing at concert venues such as Emerson Theatre.

The theater, an old movie theater turned concert venue, confined the crowd, with few seats to sit on the side. Emerson is shady, dark and disgusting, with limited viewing area.

Shortly after the concert was scheduled to begin, an angry Laura Dawn went on stage to open up the show. Dawn had a message for the person who just broke in to her band's van and stole its laptop and other expensive items. Her message was an angry one and she battled her enemy through the vicious lyrical messages of her songs.

Dawn's presence was initially that of a young and angry punk rocker who really doesn't care what anyone thinks. Dressed in street clothes and a pony tail in her hair, Dawn jumped around and sang about wasted love and and lost happiness.

Although Dawn doesn't seem to possess the true talent of a musician who will change the way people view rock, there was one thing that was certain about her performance --+â-èshe could sure rock the stage.

Shortly after Dawn left the stage, members of The Calling, with the exception of lead vocalist Alex Band, took the stage.

The crowd of all ages screamed when the slender vocalist appeared and grabbed his microphone wrapped in a Steven Tyler-like scarf.

The show started off with "Final Answer" followed by "Nothing's Changed" off the band's debut album "Camino Palmero." Shortly into the show an audience member threw a half-dressed blow-up doll on stage. While Band smiled, he asked the audience if it was all right for him to save it for when he sang the new single "Adrienne," a song about a guy who should have left the girl long before she could use him anymore.

After drummer Nate Wood used the doll to help him play the drums, the show was stopped to wish bassist Billy Mohler a happy birthday. Mohler danced around as the audience and band serenaded him.

The band played all but one song off its album and even debuted a new song in the show that lasted approximately one hour and 15 minutes. Highlights were an extended version of the band's song "Stigmatized" and its hit "Wherever You Will Go." The show closed with "Adrienne," as Band fulfilled his promise and the doll once again returned to the stage and ended up in the hands of the audience.

Band's vocals were right on all night as the melodic croon of the guitars and rhythm consumed the rest of the band. While Band waved and made the female fans in the front scream, the rest of The Calling was rocking out in the background.

The band members' individual personalities were probably the most intriguing part of the show. Guitarist Sean Woolstenhulme kept to himself as he intensely played his guitar while Mohler and guitarist/songwriter Aaron Kamin communicated and made faces at each other.

A simple American Flag and a smiley face drawn on poster board reflected the band as a whole. It simply was a show of five young guys doing what they loved.

Although The Calling is not yet a household name to all music lovers, Friday night's show proved the band is quickly moving up and making its name in the world.

When the band begins to play large venues in the near future, Friday night's fans will look back as if it were yesterday.


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