The crowd was pumped up and ready to go. Before the New Jersey septet took the stage, cheers of “Streetlight! Streetlight!” rang throughout the crowd and people were shoving each other around in preparation for what would become an hour and a half dance/mosh pit. Streetlight Manifesto was greeted by nearly 1,000 thrilled fans and started the night with the energy filled “Watch it Crash.” The crowd surged forwards, backwards, left and right, jumping and dancing to Streetlight Manifesto’s lively music. The crowd was nothing short of energetic. Mosh pits and crowd surges showed no signs of stopping as long as Streetlight Manifesto was in the spotlight.
After their second song, “Failing, Flailing,” guitarist and lead singer Tomas Kalnoky drenched his fans by tossing out opened water bottles. Because of the welcoming response the band received from the sweaty crowd, this act quickly became routine. Streetlight Manifesto really connected with their fans when they let the roaring crowd take over lead vocals. During the intro of “1234, 1234,” Kalnoky strummed the guitar chords as the crowd belted the familiar “whoa’s!” During songs such as “Dear Sergio” the crowd actually overpowered Kalnoky. It was obvious that the band enjoyed this, and seeing them smile on stage made the show that much more enjoyable.
Other than a wild crowd and interaction with the fans, Streetlight Manifesto pleased the crowd with their crisp ska style. With drumbeats and guitar chords that are played at lightning fast speeds, the band displayed their talent by not missing a single note. In addition, Streetlight Manifesto is great at mixing two unlikely styles, punk rock guitar and a unique horn section. For example, while playing “What a Wicked Gang Are We,” the distorted guitar unexpectedly complimented the baritone sax, tenor sax, trombone, and trumpet very well. Each musician in this extensive horn section was also given a solo during songs like “We Will Fall Together” and “Somewhere in the Between.” Streetlight Manifesto demonstrated their musicianship as their live music sounded identical to, if not better than their albums.
The night ended with the fast paced “1234, 1234,” giving the crowd one last ska beat to get all their remaining energy out (if there was any left at all). As the band left the stage, cheers of an encore were inevitable, but unfortunately unsuccessful. These New Jersey boys had put on an amazing show and left Santa Cruz wanting more.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone who has had the opportunity to see Streetlight Manifesto would not consider themselves a fan. Through interacting with the crowd and demonstrating their raw talent as musicians, Streetlight Manifesto puts on a very exciting live show and gives off a good vibe. But just a fair warning if you do decide to see them live, be ready for a crowd that will match the energy of Streetlight Manifesto’s music.