REVIEW: The Unlikely Candidates at One Centre Square

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WRITTEN BY: Hannah Kay

Of all the places to be in Easton, Pennsylvania on a Friday night, the patrons at One Centre Square on January 10th can rest assured that it was the most electric place in the city. 

The Unlikely Candidates, a five-piece alternative band from Fort Worth, Texas, drew a dedicated crowd to the intimate inner-city venue.

Joining them on a headlining tour across the East Coast were some friendly faces anyone who caught them on their last outing supporting The Score would recognize – Columbus, Ohio three-piece The Orphan The Poet. The Orphan The Poet got the crowd going with an eclectic, energized performance that served as a showcase of modern alternative’s bright, pop-y leanings as opposed to The Unlikely Candidates’ shift towards a more dark and gloomy feel. 

Frontman Kyle Morris absolutely dominated the stage, making the already intimate venue seem even closer with his massive stage presence. Throughout their set he exuded what can only be described as manic energy, but in the best, most infectious way possible. Every grand flourish of his body that almost sent him careening into guitarists Brenton Carney and Cole Male and every toss of his mic, whether it landed back in his hand or hit the ground, was utterly riveting to watch (and made “Danger To Myself” ring more true as the set went on). 

The Unlikely Candidates have made a definite shift in the tone of their music throughout their career, going from the bright, acoustic guitars of 2013’s alternative/indie scene to the moodier, pulsing bass and sweeping electric guitars heralded in by their 2017 EPs, Bed of Liars and Danger to Myself. Rounded out by bassist Jared Hornbeek and drummer Kevin Goddard, the band is able to effortlessly swing between the vibes of the different eras of their music during their shows, and this was no exception. Even the Dirty Heads song they featured on (“Celebrate”) slid easily into place on their setlist, but one of the most truly memorable moments of the show came from the self-described “gothic western” number “Bells” and the dramatic re-entry of Goddard, Male, and Hornbeek during the last stretch of the song. 

Although One Centre Square is small as far as indoor venues go, The Unlikely Candidates made it feel as big as an arena show with the wild, irresistible energy they exude. Often shows are only as memorable as the main act’s frontman make them – and watching Morris get progressively drenched in sweat as he absorbed and amplified the talent and dynamism of himself and his bandmates for the Easton crowd made this show unforgettable. 

Setlist: 

  1. Oh My Dear Lord
  2. Best Things In Life Aren’t Free
  3. Fingers Crossed
  4. Best I Ever Had
  5. Violence
  6. Call My Name
  7. Danger To Myself
  8. Follow My Feet
  9. Trampoline
  10. Celebrate (Dirty Heads cover)
  11. Bang Bang (Cher cover)
  12. Ringer
  13. New Problems
  14. Your Love Could Start A War
  15. Bells
  16. Novocaine

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