At this point, any frequent reader here at Jukebox will know that I’m a massive Gloriana fan. From the moment I saw them open up for Taylor Swift at the Staples Center so many years ago, I’ve been rooting for them almost religiously. I’ve seen them on stages big and small, from amphitheaters like the Rewind Tour stage to Toby Keith’s Bar and Grill; and in all the years that I’ve followed them the best part has been watching their growth. The Rewind Tour date was one of the best performances I’ve seen from the group, despite the shortness of the set, the three of them came together and vibed off of each other in ways I’d only seen in small, intimate settings.
Gone are the days of the cardboard beer hats; Gloriana have ushered in an era where they’re making a statement, both in the way they perform and the way they look. They’ve grown into a more cohesive band that understands who they are, where they want to go, and exactly how they want to get there. From the beginning, their performances were always based on the music itself, and as their music grew more authentic and they’ve had a louder voice in it, it’s been so much easier to see the joy of performing it shining through.
The Rewind Tour stop in San Bernardino showed a side of them that I hadn’t seen yet, an interactive, movement oriented band that doesn’t stand stationary at their mics. It was clear that as a group, they’d learned the importance of moving into the audience and immersing themselves in the people in front of them. Mike, Tom, and Rachel all took their time breaking away from that imaginary wall on the stage to take a step closer; touching hands, passing smiles, and generally allowing themselves the opportunity to dive into the people that knew almost every word. They’ve always been an intensely fan friendly band, signing autographs and doing meet-and-greets after the show, but for some time their was a timidity to losing themselves to that on the stage. That is an obstacle they’re clearly crossing over.
From their newest single “Best Night Ever” to the well known “Kissed You Goodnight,” they played to an audience where maybe only half of the people knew the words to their songs, but that didn’t stop them from having the time of their lives. They still possess all that passion and intensity of their intimate performances, when they dive into “Can’t Shake You” it’s clear the moment Tom and Rachel get lost in the lyrics and effortlessly convey the frustration and pain to their crowd. That is one of the things that made me such a big fan, the emotive quality to their music, and their willingness to pull their audience into it.
As their success grows and their stages get bigger, it’s great to see that they’re adapting and putting all of themselves into moment, becoming seasoned performers that know how to give their fans what they want. The only downside to the Rewind tour set was that it was so short, the trouble with being a huge fan of the opening act, never getting as much as you want when they come to town. Especially out here on the West Coast. It did, however, make me incredibly excited for what’s in store the next time I see them do a full set on their own stage. Gloriana still remain the band that’s after my own heart, that keeps me rooting for them and hoping that their moment to stand on top is only around the corner. I have a lot of faith that it is.