An extensive line of people stretched around the left side of the building and trailed deep into the parking lot—some lounging in sleeping bags, some stationed in tents, some sat in lawn chairs, and some curled up in blankets—all in anticipation of seeing the alternative/indie group, The Band CAMINO. Due to the pandemic, the Memphis boys were forced to halt production. Now they are back and better than ever, bringing Hastings and flor along for the journey, they are ready to give their diehard fans the show they’ve dreamed about for the past two and a half years.
Hastings almost stole the show
Before attending this concert I had never heard of Hastings nor any of his music—I deeply regret this terrible mistake. The fellow Tennessee singer, songwriter, and producer graciously walked on stage, with his beige and white electric guitar hung around his body, and shyly announced who he was. The crowd cheered, awaiting what was to come out of the curly-headed 22-year-old’s mouth. He began his setlist by singing his second single “Chapstick.” The crowd was immediately engaged and naturally clapped to the rhythm. Hastings certainly blew us away with multiple people around me wearing shocked expressions and saying “wow” and how they “didn’t expect that.”
Following this, he performed his 2021 debut single, “Hearts Not In It,” which shot to instant acclaim at the time of its release and is included, along with “Chapstick,” on his debut EP Hastings. He ditched his guitar and relied solely on his vocals for this track—and he absolutely soared. He seemed to have found his groove as he loosened up a bit and busted some top-tier moves on stage. The next few songs included heavy rock-infused “Take Mine," the funky bass-driven “Hurt My Feelings,” and the cheeky “Asking For a Friend” and Hastings poured his heart and soul into all of them. If you’ve ever seen an artist sing so passionately that you can see a vein pop out of their neck, that’s Hastings. He flawlessly hit every single note in these tracks and the crowd was feeding into it. The only minor complaint was after every song he kept announcing who he was. I’m assuming this was due to his nerves, along with being such a small artist, but the crowd understood who he was after the first couple of announcements.
Hastings closed out his setlist with “Blank Me,” which also happened to be the best song he performed that evening. His guitar reappeared for it, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled that it did. He and his guitarist, Val Hoyt, had off-the-charts chemistry throughout his entire setlist, especially as Hastings made his way over to shred together. Hastings gave a spotless performance proving that he is one of the best young artists in the music industry today. There’s no doubt that he will be one of the largest artists in the next five years if he continues at the rate he’s going.
flor channeled all of the positivity
“What is up, Indy?!” yelled the frontman of flor, Zach Grace, as he emerged on stage stood next to his bandmates: McKinley Kitts (guitar, backing vocals), Dylan Bauld (bass guitar, backing vocals, production), and Kyle Hill (drums, percussion). Grace’s energy was absolutely unmatched. The vibes he was radiating through his baby blue-colored sunglasses, long red locks, and toothy smile was enough to light up all of Indianapolis. The indie group kicked off their setlist by singing one of their latest singles “Play Along” from their upcoming album, Future Shine, that’s set to release May 6. This relatable track reflects on the innocence of childhood and not having a worry in the world.
The band transitioned into the lighthearted and bouncy “dancing around.” Kitts and Bauld shared a precious moment together where they made eye contact and played across the stage from one another behind Grace. On the surface, the song serves as a reminder to enjoy every moment, but it unpacks the habits we all develop and yearns that everyone should try to live their best, most authentic life. They played another recently released track, the fast-paced “Big Shot,” which had robust drums that rocked the crowd without fail—major shoutout to Hill.
The group then reverted back to their softer songs with “back again.” Grace crooned about the feeling of longing for loved ones that was painted over a haunting melody. They slipped into another new track in “Skate,” a drippy, psychedelic song that placed Grace’s high-pitched, gritty, one-of-a-kind vocals on a pedestal. There were moments during the course of this song, especially in the middle, where Grace would scream-sing notes mirroring rock legend and Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury. This is when I fell in love with his range. The band then performed their final three songs: the hopeful “Restless Soul,” “hold on”—where the instruments were the star and Bould absolutely bodied the bass, and closed out their setlist with “warm blood.” In comparison to Hastings and The Band CAMINO, flor was a lot softer but they highlighted their talent and delivered an uplifting performance.
The Band CAMINO are back like they’d never left
The Band CAMINO’s entrance was theatrical, with lights of strawberry red, fuchsia pink, lemon yellow, and aqua blue shining down on an empty stage to the beat of a Western tune (yes, you read that right and it was just as iconic as you could imagine). The band’s members—Jeffery Jordan (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Spencer Stewart (vocals, guitar), Garrison Burgess (drums), and Reagan Renfrow (their stand-in bassist)—poured out on stage to their respective spots. Jordan started singing fan-favorite “Know It All” from the band’s self-titled second studio album, The Band CAMINO. The crowd went absolutely ballistic. The Band CAMINO’s fans, made up mostly of teenagers and college-aged young adults, are a different breed. This is quite possibly the quickest I have ever seen a crowd sing every single word to a song in unison this early in a show. Stewart’s guitar solo in this was to die for. Even though it was short-lived, every second of it was masterful.
Jordan swapped out his guitar for a keyboard in “Roses” and happily sprang up and down, advertising his huge smile as he sang the lyrics. Next, they performed “Less Than I Do” and Jordan interacted with the crowd for almost the entirety of this song. He repeatedly made his way to each section of the stage to ensure that all parts of the crowd received the same amount of attention. He made eye contact with individual people in the crowd along the way and serenaded them as Stewart danced his way across the stage with his guitar. The song cleanly transitioned into “2/14” and of course, the stage was red—as Jordan sings in the track. This song is an oldie, but a goodie from their 2016 debut EP, My Thoughts On You. Following this was one of the band’s strongest performances “I Think I Like You.” Stewart’s vocals reached maximum capacity here and it was like heaven on Earth. He showcased his fun-loving personality as he strutted across the stage and interacted with his fellow bandmates.
The crowd got in touch with their feelings and went on a trip of emotional ballads with “Who Do You Think You Are?”, “Song About You,” and “Underneath my Skin.” The band was quick to flip the mood 180 degrees and play their latest single “Never a Good Time,” which features the Swedish production duo NOTD. Along with this, they played “See Through" where fans were holding up signs on their phones and one of them said, "Have my babies." This threw Jordan off and he laughed, got distracted, and messed up a lyric saying, "You guys in the front really helped me out. You were like 'that [lyric is] not right at all." “1 More Cigarette," where a fan threw a cigarette on stage to Jordan and he caught it and held it behind his ear, and tied the show off with “Daphne Blue.” The light show for each of these songs was extraordinary, lining up with the ever-changing moods and beat shifts of each song. Anyone who went to this show could witness how much time and effort went into not only their performance but their production. This was a show that no one, including myself, wanted to end.
Featured Image: Choose901
Images: Savannah Baird
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