By Christopher LeBron
Yesterday was a culmination of an incredible year for Safe to Say. The start of the day evoked something so refreshing like a new beginning that was just around the corner. From the moment Lowell, Ryan, Brett, and Devon stepped on stage for their sound check there was definitely an eyer of curiosity coming from the house crew. From the intro of “Latitudes” I saw the house mixer stage left bopping his head and eventually dancing through to the final chord. The stagehand in the crows nest came on the microphone, communicated with the house mixer and they agree acoustically everything was set, but they wanted and demanded more.
Four songs into the sound check and it was time for the Nokia Theater to go dark. The general feel from the band was that of anticipation mixed with nausea. They were ready to get it on, unaware that a half hour set flashes by in the blink of an eye. After a much needed slice of pizza and a few hugs from family members; the five minute call came, the house lights dimmed, and Safe To Say’s vocal grassroots fan base an eclectic group of high school students, undergrads, and graduates from all corners of the East Coast started an impromptu chant “Safe To Say” as if they were the headliners. “Are we ready?” asked Lowell (Vocals, Guitar) side stage with the other three members; could one ever be prepared enough for opening at a Broadway theater? Devon (Bass) who rarely shows emotion provoked the rest to run on stage saying “let’s go on right now!”
A loud cheer emanated from the core of the audience as the four young men took the stage. A four count from Brett, a power chord from Ryan and it was on. After premiering their new, not yet available song, “Aphelion,” they mixed it up and went into an outro cover of Pop Artist Jay Sean’s hit “Down,” which inspired unrequested fan participation from young and old as Ryan (Guitar, Vocals) stirred the cauldron with confident pipes. It was quite refreshing to see that the crowd didn’t revolt in disgust, what I did see was a body being lifted, bobbing and floating towards the security rack. “That was our first crowd surfer ever!” Ryan pointed out, elated to what just transpired, the crowd was more than happy to provide other bodies but was stopped by security. Brett (Drums) played like a season veteran, infusing South Bronx inspired hip-hop beats with pop rock for an impromptu drum solo between songs. Lowell a big man at 6’7″ came on light on his feet, but stood out with incendiary, soulful vocals, and high voltage energy, hitting every chord with precision; as if he were performing the most complicated of surgeries. They closed with “Mateo” a fan favorite, but left their Bronx story open for new chapters in what we all hope to be the start of very successful careers for the four men of the Boogie Down.