Tonight We Live
8thAVENUE was dreamed up in the west Michigan market of Grand Rapids by Brian Hedberg and Will Kramer. With a few rough acoustic songs under their belt they set out looking for a rhythm section. Enlisting the talents of Josh Smith on bass and Taylor Harrison on drums, 8thAVENUE was formed. With influences coming from all over the musical spectrum, 8A landed in a sound that melded punk with radio rock. Somewhere between Saving Abel and Green Day, 8A found their niche. Creating a unique sound they like to call 'Punk N' Roll'. Armed with their blender style of play and 'in your face' word tracking they began gigging in their local market. Playing weekly gained them a substantial fan base and landed them a few national opening spots along the way. It was at one of these national shows that they crossed paths with esteemed industry manager and producer Erik Quintero of ELQ Entertainment. This meeting set in motion a chain of events that landed them a signed spot on ELQ's roster in late 2008, as well as a spot on the soundtrack to Todd Phillips (Old School / The Hangover) directed documentary and sundance film festival Grand Jury prize winning movie 'Fraternity House'. Now, spending months in the studio re-inventing their first CD. Writing new songs for the upcoming ELQ release and fine tuning their sound. Together with Erik Quintero and Matt Geroux of Sound Bites Dog (Los Angeles) they recorded printed and pressed 'Tonight, we live'. 8A also spent some time in ELQ's 'Rock Boot Camp'. All of this in preparation of the upcoming hometown unveiling. That unveiling came in December of 2009. Back in Grand Rapids, MI to a sold out crowd of 1,100 screaming fans. The show was covered by several media outlets from Grand Rapids to Chicago and received stellar reviews across the board. Brian Hedberg is quoted saying 'Wow, when this all started we were just hoping to maybe play for our friends one day.' To that i say 'Brian.... I think you did just that.' Here is a review of one of our shows: Typically an opening act is one that fills the time at the beginning of the night when the crowd is arriving and people are getting ready for the headliner. Opening acts are often times just space fillers, or acts that are trying to get exposure by being on a bill with a much more popular band. While it is true that Pop Evil is a much more popular band than 8th Avenue, in terms of CD sales, radio exposure, and fan base, their opening for Pop Evil last Saturday at The Intersection in downtown Grand Rapids, was more than just filling the time until Pop Evil took the stage. By the time 8th Avenue took the stage The Intersection (capacity 1000) was already 75 percent full. The energy level was at 100 percent, and on came the guys from 8th Avenue to rock the crowd. High energy, great sound mix, and exciting stage presence led to an amazing performance from Brian and the guys. This was their CD release show. The official release of their brand new debut CD, 'Tonight We Live' took place on this evening, and was readily available as soon as you walked into the concert area at the merchandise booth. Smart move for the guys, get the CD out there while your playing, instead of waiting until after. The show consisted of most of the tracks from the CD, and was closed out with the single from the CD, entitled 'Gone'. The crowd already alive and attentive truly fed off the energy from the band on stage. Will the lead guitarist even went down into the audience and played 'with' the crowd while the rest of the band rocked it on stage. If you haven't heard this song before, it features a few different cold stops and restarts, not an easy task to do during practice, much harder before a live audience, and even more difficult when your down in the crowd and not behind the monitors. However 8th Avenue pulled it off, sounding every bit as good as the recorded version of the song. After their set they immediately hit the merchandise booth, greeting fans, signing CD's and posters, and giving away promotional stickers. No rock star syndrome here, just good guys that love music, and want to share that love with the people that hopefully today consider themselves fans. 8th Avenue consists of: Brian Hedberg (vocals and guitars), Will Kramer (guitar), Josh Smith (bass), and Taylor Harrison (drums). On this night they had the look, feel, and energy of a headlining act, my guess is that gig will soon come their way.