After back and fourth emails from their label rep up until 30 minutes before doors opened, the interview prep leading up to the show, and seeing fans file in line to enter Voltage Lounge, it hit me this event was different. This wasn't an assignment, this was me covering one of my favorite bands.
Admittedly, Skizzy Mars' "Mistakes Like This" remix was what turned me on to the pair of 26-year-old NYU graduates known as Prelow (thank you, Skizzy).
Doors opened at 7:00pm, and at about 7:15pm Matt, the hip-hop influenced producer, met my photographer and I by the merch table. He's draped in all black, before putting on a blue hoodie once we make it backstage. Jesse, the vocalist, meets us there. He has on a grey jacket, a Dysn shirt (the opener's merch), and navy blue dress pants with black Doc Martens, before putting on a white hat as he sat down. Both are a bit reserved.
After our interview we made plans to catch up after the show back at the merch table.
(Interview coming soon)
With approximately 4,000 Twitter followers, 6,000 Facebook likes, 700,000 YouTube views, and over 20 million Spotify streams, the band's got a solid fanbase, just a slow approach to their music. Since their 2015 EP Why Does Everything Happen So Much, the band's released seven tracks. In addition, they're signed to Atlantic records.
The "Spin The Globe Part Two" tour kicked off March 18 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Philadelphia was the fourth city stop.
The show began at approximately 8:00pm with opening act Dysn.
"Hello, I'm Dysn from California and I'm going to play some music for you," Dysn said.
An intimate and diverse crowd of about 100 high school and college aged fans ranging from African American, Caucasian, and Asian occupied the first floor of the venue. A handful of twenty-something couples occupied the second floor. A smaller venue, the bar, stage, and green room were all within 50 feet of each other at Voltage Lounge, similar to The Barbary. In fact, Jesse walked past the crowd to the bathroom unnoticed.
After about a 20-minute set Dysn thanked the crowd, after playing a song that caught my ear, "Forget You".
At about 8:30pm from my vantage point, I see Jesse creeping out of the green room. He stops, stares at the stage, and walks back inside. Red and blue lights compliment the stage's backdrop. Lostboycrow, the co-headliner with Prelow, takes his turn walking past the crowd to the bathroom unnoticed. Following him from the green room is Matt, who creeps to the back of the stage. The crowd's intermingling among themselves.
At about 8:45 stage smoke appeared. Matt and Jesse, now in a different shirt, walk on stage together, and Prelow has arrived to jam the night away.
"Yes, bitch," a fan screams.
The crowd, including myself, cheered.
"Philadelphia, how we doing tonight," Jesse said to the crowd. "We're Prelow, we're from New York."
I felt the bass treble through my lungs, like someone on a bad euphoria trip. Indeed, Prelow's set played bigger than the venue they were in. It felt like they should've been playing the Wells Fargo Center (the biggest Philadelphia venue), but in due time they'll be there center stage, where they belong.
Displaying how crisp their synergy is, the band simultaneously (to the T) launched into their set with 2015-track "For The Team" off their EP.
Jesse was very animated, bopping his head and pouring his soul into the microphone. In addition, he cut a guitar solo during the track. This was a show (understatement). A big fan going into the show, the music only resonated with me more in the flesh.
"Blazing in the outfield, cologne in the car," Jesse said. "Sneaking into movies, pleading with the actress. We're the coolest kids you're never gonna meet."
The biggest clap of the night erupted, as the crowd cheered after every song.
"This next song is called "Goes To Shit", Jesse said.
The backdrop lights flickered between blue, green, and red.
"Goes To Shit"'s one of the band's 2018 tracks. It's not my favorite, but how a good set should do, I felt the track growing on me hearing it live.
"And all I ever do is play the fool, play the fool," Jesse said. "All I ever do is come back."
"Shout out to everybody dancing, I see that," Jesse said to the crowd.
The crowd was jamming, the party had started, and Jesse was showing off his vocals, which were more impressive live. "Good People Do Bad Things", another 2018 track, was the next song on the set.
What I suspect to be an extra verse is how the live version of the song started.
The first bar of the (usual) first verse is my favorite part of the song, but the now ecstatic Jesse closed out the song with strong diction.
"I act like there's no karma anymore," Jesse said. "You act like there's no karma anymore. We act like there's no karma anymore. There ain't no karma."
Matt was focused on the keys. The next song was "Simple Song" off their EP as well. Matt got to shine with a solo of his own. Like "Goes To Shit", the track's only better live.
"Oh, the simple things we didn't get to say," Jesse said. "All the simple things we didn't have to say."
Unfortunately, the set was cut two songs short because of Jesse's voice (tour life). But, my favorite song, "I've Been Drinking", wasn't even on the set (Please, fix this guys). The band performed "Super Cool" as well.
"And my dick takes over, and I'm thinking 'bout your lips," Jesse said. "But we're too damn sober for mistakes like this."
I noticed the hip-hop and rock backgrounds of Matt and Jesse, respectively, blended well live, as the band prepared to play their last set-list song.
"Thank you so much, we've got one more song for you guys," Jesse said to the crowd.
"I don't wanna end the night right now, I don't wanna go to sleep," Jesse said. "I don't wanna be the first one down, when it's just you and me. Don't get it twisted now."
No person in the crowd, especially myself, wanted the night to end. From the end of the concert to my bus' departure time, I didn't go to sleep. I was the first one to approach the band at the end of the show, as they made their way up to the merch table. It was just us and my photographer in a real-life exchange (much better than a Twitter one). Don't get it twisted, Prelow's destined for great things in the music industry (See what I did there?)
Once an opening act for Skizzy Mars in 2015, Prelow's co-headlining their own tour in 2018. From achieving early success, right after graduating college, to figuring out how to sustain it, Prelow's live show (a theatrical) will make them a lot of money, as long as the good music keeps coming. Honestly, after seeing them live, I truly felt I just saw the next big thing in the music industry perform (the rest of industry just doesn't know it yet).