Bronze Radio Return shakes up Toad’s Place

Shannon Corcoran

The lights dimmed, and a thundering applause echoed throughout Toad’s Place as Hartford-based band Bronze Radio Return took the stage. When the guitar riffs began to thrum, it was clear attendees of Thursday night’s show were in for a good time.

[media-credit id=1537 align=”alignright” width=”200″][/media-credit]
Bronze Radio Return performed at Toad's Place Thursday, Nov.1 despite the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy

Bronze Radio Return, the opener for Boston-based band State Radio, gave the audience a soulful performance that combined nearly every genre of music. The band was quick to add jazz twang’s to their songs, yet kept the sound indie. Lead singer Chris Henderson’s stage presence was that of a seasoned veteran of the music industry, not of one that recently released a sophomore record, “Shake! Shake! Shake!”

“I usually start the songwriting process, and it gradually becomes a collective one with everyone adding their own taste,” Henderson said in an interview last week.

Throughout the set, which included songs from both of their first release, “Old TIme Speaker,” as well, banjo player Craig Struble picked up a harmonica and performed lengthy solos at unexpected moments. The crowd proceeded to scream and clap.

Middletown native, Cody Gavid, was pleasantly surprised by BRR’s talent.

“I loved them,” Gavid said. “The harmonica solos were amazing and I didn’t expect them to be this strong live. They were a really good, easy listening band.”

[media-credit id=1537 align=”alignleft” width=”200″][/media-credit]
Boston-based band, State Radio, was the headliner for the Nov. 1 concert at Toad's Place.

Quinnipiac sophomore Nikki Barba echoed Gavid’s thoughts. “Bronze Radio Return put on a really good show,” Barba said. “I love the type of music that they play, so listening to them and learning about a new band was so awesome.”

After BRR’s 45 minute set and quick intermission, State Radio took the stage. Energetic, rowdy at times, and appropriately dressed up for Halloween, the vibes that State Radio released were night and day compared to BRR.

The crowd sang along to the lyrics of lead singer Chad Stokes. In one moment, the crowd would be mellow, enjoying some of the bands slightly reggae-influenced songs such as “People to People.” In the next, people crowd surfed and dancing energetically. The constant stream of mood changes gave Toad’s Place a unique performance.

During the set, Stokes took time out to thank the audience members for coming despite the massive amount of devastation that Hurricane Sandy created on the East Coast. He also explained some of the meanings behind State Radio’s message that the band tries to send to its audience .

The energy exploded during State Radio’s encore. When the band came back out, the audience went wild, taking the dancing and crowd surfing to a whole new level. People flew all over the place as some of the older crowd ran for cover, doing their best to stay out of harm’s way.

“Though I liked Bronze Radio Return more, State Radio was also really amazing as well!” said Barba. “They kind of remind me of Mumford and Sons in a way, which is cool. Overall, they put on a great show and kept me on my toes, wondering what was coming next the whole time. I’m really stoked that I came tonight.”