Falling Up, John Reuben, The Wedding, Mainstay|
10/31/05, at DeSales University, Center Valley, PA
When a tour makes its final stop on its stretch of dates, the fans who attend that show are liable
to be in for quite a special evening. Traditionally, the final stop of a tour is also prank night. The
artists often unleash the craziest and sometimes cruelest pranks on each other to give it one last "hoorah."
The Falling Up Tour merged co-headliners Falling Up with Ohio-based rapper John Reuben and new bloods
The Wedding and Mainstay. With this tour marked Mainstay's flagship tour, it was pretty obvious who would
be the likely targets of the evening...
Minnesota-based Mainstay are newly signed to the Tooth & Nail family with their debut Well
Meaning Fiction, set for a February 2006 release. The band lead on the crowd that they hailed from
Manchester, England, with lead vocalist Justin Anderson successfully donning a faux accent for most of
their show. Their brief five-song set was an impressionable one as the band played cuts from their debut,
including "Take Away" and "This Could Be." The pranks were inevitable and the Mainstay guys were anticipating
it the entire time... and rightfully so. Justin found his mic tampered with honey and their water bottles
filled with vinegar. But the highlight of the set came when, during their closing song, "This Could Be,"
John Reuben's guitar player Greg walked on stage, set a chair down behind Justin, and pretended to sit
and read a newspaper. This proved only the beginning as the members of the Wedding charged the stage,
each dressed in Halloween costumes, and proceeded to pretend to beat Greg up and battle each other on stage.
In the end, I thought the rock quartet took the jokes very well.
The Wedding was next, putting on one of the strangest sets one could ever see. Immersing
themselves in the spirit of the night's holiday, each member was dressed as something different -- Jason from
the Friday The 13th films, a mummy, a warrior, and a ghostly skeleton. The band renamed each song
for the occasion, with "Move This City" being "Destroy This City" and "Wake The Regiment" being "Wake The Dead,"
for example. It was silly fun that made their set quite enjoyable. The band also played a brand new song
entitled "Rebound," from a new EP they've released at live shows. But The Wedding guys weren't able to come
away entirely unscathed. During "Move This City," the Mainstay guys dubbed in their own vocals to sing along,
mocking the band.
John Reuben took center stage next, revealing through the audiences enthusiasm that he was the
main draw of the night. Reuben and band opened with "Move," with "I John Reu" quickly following. Reuben
always knows how to work a crowd, no matter what the size, and since taking a band on the road with him a
few years ago, his shows have only gotten more entertaining. The aggressive "Follow Your Leader" was followed
by the party-friendlies "Do Not," "Gather In," and "So Glad." John, armed with untainted water bottles,
included his usual "cheap crowd participation" tricks, which is always well-received. He got serious for a
moment to share his beliefs in Christ and performed the darker "Cooperate," before leading into his hit "Nuisance."
It was during this song that all went awry for the Reuben team. Members from Mainstay and The Wedding rushed the stage,
whirling around the singing rapper, ducktaping Wedding vocalist Kevin Kiehn to the back of John. It
persisted until neither could hardly move, and Reuben finished out the song like that until he was cut free.
Kevin remained on stage to sing along with John for the anthemic "Doin'," while other members of The
Wedding harassed his band members. Finally, John closed with "Out Of Control" from his most recent release
The Boy Vs. The Cynic before leaving the stage.
Sadly, the majority of the crowd didn't stick around for the main attraction, Falling Up at
around 10:30PM. A slim fifteen or so fans remained up front while only a few more stayed seated for the
final set of the night. Members from Reuben's team and The Wedding stayed around the band for most of
their set to taunt and harass them from time to time. Before "Searchlights," lead singer Jessy Ribordy
announced that instead of pranking the other bands or the audience, he'd prank himself by not drinking
any water for their entire hour-long set. During the song, Reuben's drummer Bobby stood in front of Jessy and
drank an entire bottle of water savoringly, then opened another, drank some more, and began pouring it on
himself. The silliness persisted till the end of the night, when the Falling Up guys exited the stage,
and Reuben came out to encourage the crowd to cheer the band back on. Following their encore, Reuben
repeated the act, causing the band to break into a riff of his "Out Of Control" in retaliation. For a
moment, John acted like he would perform the song on the spot before he abruptly left the stage, returning
after the crowd responded in disappointment only to jokingly reprimand Falling Up for their "immaturity."
Being that it was Halloween and the tour's final night made for probably the singlemost off-the-wall
concert night I've ever witnessed. I'd recommend the tour if it wasn't finished, but if you get a chance
to see these bands independently, you'll be in for a treat. And be sure to look into Mainstay if you're
looking for some good new melodic rock.
-- John DiBiase, 11/2/05