Blue Robot

Jon Simmons SPA Noontime Concert Review

Posted by Christopher Will on 02/06 at 08:55 PM

Jon Simmons of Balance &Composure graced the HUB-Robeson center with his presence this past Friday, playing a 40-minute acoustic for S.P.A.’s Noontime Series.  For those who don’t know, Balance & Composure is a five-piece indie rock outfit from Doylestown, PA.  Burrowing themselves within the roots of the emo rock music of the early 2000s, they channel some of the most influential bands of that era, such as Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, Saves The Day, and Senses Fail.  Those influences were made even more palpable on Friday, as Simmons stood with an acoustic guitar, churning out slow, bruised acoustic ballads.  His wounded vocals, backed by the guitar, gave added power to the lyrics of his songs.  His confident stage presence also spoke to his legitimacy as an artist.

Simmons kept it interesting during the show, switching between covers, Balance & Composure songs, and even a few of his own compositions.  The set list flowed together, with a few standout songs that truly showcased his talent as a solo artist.  One such song was an acoustic version of Balance & Composure’s “Galenda,” originally a gritty rock song thundering with loud guitars and a well-crafted, catchy chorus.  When the loud orchestrations of the original were switched with stark acoustics, the song took on a completely different feel.  Eerie and fragile, the earnest emotion in Simmons’ voice coupled with the strength of the lyrics was mesmerizing.

Another standout original was the brooding, electric guitar driven track called “Echo.” The acoustic version was beautifully done, and Simmons channeled The Smashing PumpkinsBilly Corgan with his cracked, pained voice.  Both “Galenda” and “Echo” are off of their newest album, Separation, which was released on May 10, 2011.

Simmons also presented some innovative and interesting covers.  He tackled songs like Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone”, Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Engine”, and Pedro the Lion’s “The Poison” with poise and grace, adding his own emo-tinged musicality to the classic records.

The show was short, concise, and packed with alternative-rock and melodic genius.  Jon Simmons proved that he and Balance And Composure have some serious promise as a burgeoning name in alternative music, and the set proved that Jon Simmons could easily start a solo career if he so chose.  Once again, check out Balance & Composure on iTunes and on Amazon, and pick up their record Separation.

{name} Author: Christopher Will
Bio: Christopher Will is a junior studying Communications and English at Penn State. He enjoys scouring the internet for the latest pop music news and gossip, and loves sharing new music with his friends and peers. Some of his favorite artists include Breathe Carolina, Fun., Childish Gambino, Gotye, Yellowcard, and Robyn.


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