A decade ago, in the summer of 2007, one Bryce Avary under the pseudonym The Rocket Summer, released the album ‘Do You Feel’. An album that would become the pinnacle of his career thus far. It spoke to many on a personal level with it’s lyrics emblazoned with tales of hope, love and the struggle to always be yourself despite what is thrown you way. It’s upbeat pop rock sound was something memorable and to come from one, incredibly talented individual was something to be marvelled over. It is the perfect recipe for a 10 year anniversary tour and in celebration, Avary took the album out across the US for everyone to enjoy in it’s entirety.
What’s special about Do You Feel is that it’s timeless, whether you listen to it often, or simply come back to it after a long while, the songs are always just as good, if not better, than the last time you heard them. Live, they are given a whole new lease of life, you’re able to witness the passion Avary has when he sings first hand. It’s shared, as those who are now 10 years older scream back the soundtrack to their teenage years. There is a nostalgic feeling that only adds to the elated atmosphere and it’s clear even as performances of Do You Feel come to an end that nobody wants the show to stop.
“People always ask me, how do you do two hour shows every night?” Avary starts, not yet done with the show as of yet. “I tell everyone the same thing; everyone sings along, sometimes they do it for me.” That’s something that is clearly evident as he moves into requests, something Avary says is one of his favourite parts of his live show and the room instantly erupts in suggestions. First up is Around The Clock, which is taken over by the volume of the audience and soon enough Avary doesn’t need to sing and everyone else in the room becomes The Rocket Summer.
What is nice about the requests practice is that people get to hear their all time favourite songs, outside of that one particular album and it ups the energy at a time when, usually, everyone would be winding down or getting ready to leave. Instead the room is on fire, with people dancing and singing just as loud as they were when the set began. Avery sounds seamless, even as he says “I hope I can remember how to play this,” before he begins Never Knew.
There is a moment that really stood out, however and it came after an encore when Avary walked back out on stage alone, when a lot of the people in the crowd lifted their hands in unity, displaying ‘Do You Feel’ written across their palms. It signified the connection that Do You Feel has with people, as well as the connection that Avary has held with his fans for so long and that it has never wavered.
A 10 year anniversary tour is something a lot of bands have cashed in on in recent years but Bryce Avary seems to be out here simply sharing the same love for that album he created a decade ago. It has shown that while The Rocket Summer has progressed in all that time, his music still holds a special place in the hearts of a lot of people, including it’s founder Bryce Avary and that’s what makes his live shows so spectacular and why his longevity is set for a number of years yet to come.