Ross Lynch plays guitar at his concert for The Driver Era. - Contributor/Skylar Moody

It was a family affair at New York’s Bowery Ballroom on March 18 as brothers Ross and Rocky Lynch took to the stage for a sold-out show for their new band, The Driver Era.

After a decade of performing as R5 alongside siblings and family friends, the group’s split early last year allowed for the two Lynch brothers to experiment with their own style of alternative rock—welcoming a circle of new listeners to their side. After the release of just three singles over the past year, the duo has hit the road for their first North American tour, making their fifth stop in NYC.

Opening up for The Driver Era was Cincinnati based trio, Public. Their style provided a mix of pop elements with a rock and roll sound as they performed tracks from their 2017 EP, Sweet Lemonade, their latest single “Honesty” and a rendition of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” As a smaller group, they thanked the crowd for their support as they continue to grow as artists through touring.

As the lights dimmed and the Lynch’s made their grand entrance. It was a surprise to find them joined by former R5 bandmates as backup. Essentially, fans received five members for the price of two.

The Driver Era opened with a sneak peak of their upcoming single, “Feel You Now,” which is planned for release on March 29. Likewise, the majority of their set list consisted of various new, unreleased tracks such as “Scared of Heights,” “San Francisco” and “Natural.” Each exhibited its own unique vibe, never failing to elicit cheers of approval from fans.

With all members present, there was no hesitation to relive a few R5 throwbacks, such as the old-school track “Red Velvet.” Longtime fans weren’t shy when it came to singing each verse with pride, whereas newer fans simply rocked out, learning the lyrics through the songs’ progression.

Kicking it back a notch, Ross stood solo for some quality one-on-one time with the crowd. With acoustic guitar in hand and phone flashlights illuminating the room, he treated fans to an unplugged set of freshly written songs including “Stop, Don’t Move” —bearing catchy lyrics and a laid-back, steady tune.

The crowd was sent into an erotic frenzy with an alluring cover of the Frankie Valli classic “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” performed by Ross, who charmed fans with his melodious vocals and ravishing smiles. Needless to say, this tradition has become a favorite among those in attendance.

Pleas and chants from fans drew the duo back on stage for an encore of two of their latest singles, “Low” and “Preacher Man.” The crowd was in uproar, harmonizing and nearly overpowering the voices of the band for a powerful finale, leaving them basking in the afterglow.

Overall, The Driver Era’s performance kept a perfect blend of charisma, sex appeal and exuberance throughout the evening. Their stage presence gave off an addictive energy, making you crave more than what was presented.

Having general admission allowed little to no movement, yet this enabled a quickly built audience-to-performer relationship in an intimate venue. The Driver Era was very conversational with their fans; there were many talks of drunken Saint Patrick’s Day memories, sharing excitement upon music creations in the works and pouring out love to the city that never sleeps.

Rather than a concert, it became a party exclusively for the fans, in which a friendship was established with each other and the performers. This is the kind of experience you won’t find in an arena show—take the opportunity when it presents itself.

Their tour will continue in various cities nationwide for the remainder of March and April. For more details, visit thedriverera.com/tours.


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