“ATC! ATC! ATC!” Dozens of fans’ urgent voices ring through the Marlin Room at Webster Hall, turning into screams of excitement as Dan Gow, Will Ferri, and Chrissy Costanza run onstage, launching into their first song of the night: Paralyzed.
I’m one of those fans, screaming “I love you, Chrissy!” at the top of my lungs while trying to capture the moment on my cell phone. I’ve been a dedicated fan of Against The Current for 3 years, ever since I found their cover with Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider of Demi Lovato’s Heart Attack and had instantly fallen in love with Chrissy’s voice (the gurl has some major pipes. She may be small, but don’t let her stature fool you; her voice is a lion’s roar) on YouTube. The first time I saw Against The Current in concert was May 2014, during their first North American headlining tour (Sink or Swim). They were absolutely amazing, and this concert, with headlining band Set It Off, was no exception.
Chrissy delivers the emotionally-laden, yet upbeat and hopeful lyrics of Paralyzed with bite: “I’m naming the voices in my head/they keep on telling me to give in/but it’s making me stronger, fight a little longer/I’m gonna bring me back to life/and I won’t be paralyzed.”
The crowd belts out the other songs off Against the Current’s new EP Gravity with the band, going absolutely insane when Patty Walters, from the band As It Is (who opened the concert, with band Roam), joins Chrissy onstage for the slow, rock duet Dreaming Alone (subbing in for Taka from One Ok Rock who sings the song with Chrissy on the EP). Fireproof is easily one of the favorites of the night, showing off the band’s rock side with mature and considerably darker lyrics such as, “I hope your hands burn when you touch her/I won’t be the cure for the scars you’ve earned/you lit the fuse, thought I’d burn, too/but you’re playing with a heart that’s fireproof. ” It’s also a favorite of the night because Chrissy leads the crowd through the song with some pretty serious head-banging. Who doesn’t love head-banging at a concert, with your hair flying everywhere? It’s pretty rad.
Against The Current moves on to play three songs from their previous EP Infinity. The title track is by far the biggest hit of the 3, with the audience going wild while capturing the golden moment on their cell phones: Chrissy doing her famous and jaw-dropping backbend while belting out a high note. The gurl is a self-proclaimed cat-eye queen and is now a certified exorcist (kidding. But seriously, how can I learn to do that move? Never mind me doing it, how does she do it while singing?!).
The band closes their set with their amped-up, pop-rock rendition of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’s hit single Uptown Funk. Against The Current’s cover of Uptown Funk with Set It Off received many positive reviews and currently holds 87,000 likes on YouTube.
The swift and dynamic key changes in the stage versions of Brighter and Paralyzed add to Chrissy’s stage presence and also heighten her credibility in being a singer who can actually sing, and not just in the studio. She proves throughout the set that she can rouse a crowd and leave them feeling like they’ve been with a rock star.
Once again, Poughkeepsie, NY-based pop-rock band Against The Current rocks the stage. Their concerts, maturing sound, and powerful lyrics certainly break them free of their YouTube-cover-band-stigma (Did I mention they’ve been signed to Fueled By Ramen?). The songs on Gravity tackle all kinds of relatable situations, ranging from empowerment and independence from a bad breakup (Talk, Fireproof, Dreaming Alone), to losing someone who kept you sane (Gravity), to coping with anxiety and depression (Paralyzed), to pursuing your dreams (Brighter). If these aren’t enough reasons to persuade you to listen to and buy their EPs Gravity and Infinity, I don’t know what will. But I highly recommend that you get on iTunes now and listen to their songs…and purchase all of them.