Chaser Eight Premieres Video With a Message
New Haven-based rockers Chaser Eight premiered a new music video that tackled a serious subject at The State House on Friday night while also giving live music fans a serious dose of hard hitting rock ‘n’ roll as they headlined a three-band bill that also included the fast and furious trio The Problem With Kids Today and the dreamy pop rock group The Sparkle and Fade.
The State Street venue was already buzzing when the opening act, The Problem With Kids Today, hit the stage while local favorites Dust Hat played on the speakers overhead, shouted out by vocalist and guitarist Tate Brooks, who then warmed up with the opening chords of the Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
“If you wanna blow off a little steam and come closer I don’t mind,” said Brooks, gesturing to the crowd to bring it in. “We’re gonna play a song, so go crazy and run around like a school child.”
The band then jumped right into a searing 20-minute set that saw Brooks jumping around and off the stage, as well as sliding on his knees across the floor in front of the admiring crowd.
There was the music too, of course — the rhythm section of Silas Lourenco Lang and Reena Yu unrelenting through pop after pop of power punk goodness. Brooks and Lang traded off lead vocals while Brooks’s guitar screamed in response to the screams of the audience, many of whom were recognizable from last week’s show at Cafe Nine, taking photos and videos while cheering the trio on.
The set ended with Brooks back on the floor and crawling not quite all the way under the stage. The fans and cameras descended upon the scene, and he came back out smiling and laughing right along with everyone else.
The Sparkle and Fade, the second act of the evening, acknowledged the opening act as “an experience.” “I can’t move like that,” said lead vocalist Lindsey Callahan with a smile.
And while this six-piece band did not perform any of the physical feats that occurred during the first set, they did provide a wealth of auditory delights, including a healthy dose of harmonies as well as synth-sweetened pop rock.
Noting that the band had recently celebrated its first birthday, guitarist-vocalist Tyler Seely added that this was only their fourth show, as they had only started playing live in August. They had been formed during 2020, and were doing things “backwards.” “We made a record first,” said Seely. The band’s first song, “Live Life Out Loud,” encapsulated the sound of this band to watch, and helped complete a set that the audience received with much affection as they kept the party going.
Prior to the final set of the evening, Chaser Eight’s Audra (a.k.a. Audra Ciarleglio) came to the stage to introduce the band’s new video for the song “The Bell Jar,” off Chaser Eight’s 2019 album Tell Me Lies. She told the crowd it was in the making “for many years” and that “a lot of shit happened at the end of 2019 so we didn’t get around to it, but we finally did and we’re real happy about it.”
The video, a meditation on the struggle of one contemplating suicide, shows a day in the life of a person (played by Audra) that plays out in reverse, from her standing on the edge of a precipice to various scenes of her alone and her interactions with others, ending with her waking up that morning. Those scenes, interspersed with clips of the band’s performance, conveyed the desolate nature of the situation, further amplified by lyrics such as “I’ve been trying to find my mind, but it’s gone for good this time.” The video concludes not only with a dedication to a friend who lost his life to suicide, but also a number by which someone who was struggling with a similar situation could reach out and get assistance.
The band members then made their way up on the stage while the crowd was still offering their applause and shouts in response to the video. Chaser Eight then unleashed an hour’s worth of high-energy anthemic rock that got many dancing and fist pumping along throughout.
“We said ‘let’s do all the music videos tonight,’ so here you go” said Audra, referring to the wealth of previous songs the band has also made videos for. They also added a couple of well received covers — Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” and Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” — the latter of which had Audra and backing vocalist Jess Wolfer singing the praises of Stevie Nicks, who they both have tattoos of on their arms. Audra picked up the guitar at one point for a set of songs, adding to the already thunderous onslaught of sound, then put it down again to add a megaphone to further amp up her vocals.
The band tried to finish where it began, performing the song “The Bell Jar,” but the audience wouldn’t have it and screamed for one more. Chaser Eight obliged and the celebration continued one song longer, echoing the sentiments of The Sparkle and Fade earlier in the night: “Come on and live life out loud, no matter what it takes. We owe it to ourselves to see the better days.”