Live Review: Safety Suit @ Juanita’s, November 11

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By Sarah Spencer

Safety Suit returned to Little Rock for a Big Rockin' time! On November 11,
2009, Juanita's hosted Safety Suit, the alternative rock band from Tulsa,
Okla., now based in Nashville. Less than two months prior, Safety Suit
entertained the ladies at Little Rock's annual Girl's Night. They are definitely
a band females gravitate towards being a handsome, young, all-male band whose
entire debut album, entitled Life Left to Go, is seemingly either a love song, a
break up song, or a take me back/I miss you song.

The band is comprised of lead
singer/songwriter/guitarist Doug Brown, drummer Tate Cunningham, bassist Jeremy
Henshaw, and lead guitarist Dave Garofalo. Safety Suit did not have an opening
artist touring with them that night, so newly-formed local band, Townsend, was
able to fill that slot and ready the crowd. Townsend did cover songs and
original songs to entertain the largely, young, female fans, numbering about
150. Lead singer, Townsend Talbot is a talented, young lady with an equally
talented band behind her but, unfortunately, I found more negatives than
positives with her performance. She was sarcastic with the crowd while sporting
sloppy baggy jeans, a t-shirt, and a ponytail. (All I'm sayin' is, she could of
dressed for the occasion.) She also seemed like she had nothing to prove because
she was already hot stuff in her mind. Other than that, I enjoyed Townsend which
included David Hiltenbrand on bass, Terrance Richardson on drums, and new lead
guitarist, Alec Tripp, on his debut night with the band.

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The seated, general admission audience suddenly grew more anxious to see
who they came to for and delivered about 25-30 members to the front of the stage
for a better view. It was time for the show to begin so I took my place down
front with the rest. Safety Suit came on stage ready to entertain and have some
fun.

Doug Brown was gracious and charming while being conversational with the
moderately-sized Wednesday night group. His soft and delicate yet, strong and
masculine singing voice was compelling. They started their set with a non-love
song, not on their album, entitled "Crash," which urged us repeatedly to "Don't
stop!" It was a great high-energy song to begin with. Dave
Garofalo started the show early on with his tongue-wagging and high-flying
kicks. He was fun to watch. Brown dedicated their newest single, "Annie," to "any
ladies in the house," and asked if we would call and request it on the radio.

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Next, Brown appreciatively dedicated the love song "Anywhere But Here" to the
entire crowd, which has the line, "I'd rather be anywhere but here without
you." The crowd's excitement rose with their Top 40 hit "Someone Like You,"
followed by their chart topping single "Stay," which made it to #1 on VH1's Top
20 Countdown, which, by the way, Brown thanked us for.

For the climax of the
show they got the floor crowd jumping by jumping themselves in unison during the "oh oh" part during the song, "Apology." Afterward, the band left the stage and
Brown stayed for a solo performance with an acoustic guitar. The song was
inspired by his brother, someone "just like me but, 100 times cooler." It was
described as one we haven't heard yet entitled, "You Don't See Me," dedicated to
all the shy people. The band came back and ended the night with "Gone Away," a
powerful ballad with a soft, slow beginning which crescendos in force and volume
to a beautiful, poignant farewell. After the show, Brown asked the crowd to meet
them at the merch table because they "wanted to meet every single person in
here." These Southern gentlemen were so fun and talented and their
performance was one to remember. They showed us they have a definite musical "
Life Left To Go."

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Setlist was as follows:
Crash
Something I Said
Down
Annie
Anywhere But Here
Find A Way
What If
Someone Like You
Stay
Apology
You Don't See Me
Gone Away
 
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