Article and Photos by: Leigh Ann Rodgers
Syracuse, New York — It was a quiet Monday night on Westcott Street. The usual weekend vibes of Syracuse University had died down and there were very few people milling around the streets that were once filled with college students wearing their orange garb. The few people that remained were those who 10 years ago fell in love with Secondhand Serenade’s Awake. Since it a Monday night, a large crowd wasn’t expected. However, with the lack of a pop-punk music scene in Syracuse, or a large music scene at all, a show like this was likely to draw all of the has-been pop-punk kids out of hiding.
Ronnie Winter of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus kicked off the show with an acoustic set. He was so personable with the crowd; his parents were from Syracuse, so he felt a strong connection to the area. This show’s atmosphere differed from the rest. It didn’t feel like there was any pressure to play or perform perfectly; it was a very relaxed performance. Going from being backed by a full band to playing an acoustic set alone on stage is a difficult transition, but Ronnie did it very well as he made the acoustic rendition of “Face Down” sound just as good as the original.
By the time John Vesely took the stage, there was a crowd of all ages dressed head to toe in old Secondhand Serenade apparel. Being able to hear songs that everyone in the crowd grew up listening to played acoustically in a very intimate venue was a beautiful experience. As with Ronnie’s, John’s set was very intimate, even bringing his wife on stage with him to sing a song not yet released from the duo’s side project- Rebel Roads. John took the crowd back in time with his set, playing through the entirety of Awake and ending with an encore of his iconic song “Fall For You.”