TRAGIC THRILLS // LEE DEWYZE
Event on 2015-02-15 20:00:00
*NOTE: The VIP tickets are only applicable for Lee Dewyze. The VIP tickets include:
-A general admission ticket to the show
-Early entry to the venue
-Exclusive meet and greet with Lee Dewyze
-2 song sound check performance with Lee Dewyze
“My aim is to be earnest and have integrity,” says Zach Porter, primary songwriter of the transcendent pop-rock quintet The Tragic Thrills. “When I write songs for this band, I question every word because I want to make sure everything is honest.”
The quintet is comprised of seasoned musicians with national and international touring experience, and successful track records with both major and independent labels. The band has toured with Twin Forks, Augustana and Pigpen Theater Co. In addition to Zach Porter, the band includes Cameron Quiseng (bass), Chris Morrison (lead guitar), Ans Gibson (drums), and Gabe Rudner (keyboard). With The Tragic Thrills, the band members break away from their legacies to rally behind the poetic and irreverently romantic songs Porter has crafted. Emboldened by the fresh start, the guys have taken the reins to steer their destiny. They self-funded their self-titled debut, and, enamored with the subtle genius production on Mat Kearney’s Young Love, handpicked producer Jason Lehning.
It’s a bold way to launch a new band, but that move keeps within the vibrant emotionality packed in the group’s moniker. “The name The Tragic Thrills embodies a sense of what I owe. Not what I owe to anyone, just what it’ll take for me to find whatever the hell it is I’m looking for in life,” Porter reveals.
For Porter, love pulled him off the music business treadmill and brought him back to soulful creative authenticity. “Meeting my girlfriend changed everything,” he confides. “In the past, being in a successful band was the most important thing in the world to me—I was willing to do whatever it took to make it.. Now I’m able to write in a way that my ambitions had stopped me from before. “
The band recently signed to Washington Square, the new Razor & Tie imprint. The Tragic Thrills debut is sublimely modern with skyward, atmospheric anthemics tastefully balanced by poignant and quaint touches likes stately cello, crystalline piano, and shimmering guitars. Against this expansive backdrop, Porter sings his powerfully confessional lyrics with rawness and urgency.
Throughout the album Porter’s lyric writing is a revelation; it’s blunt and pent-up but bursting with emotion about relationships: romantic, friendship, and business. On “Tears” he sings: I lost it all/I punched the wall again/But it was stronger than my hands/And they were swollen, they were red/And I’m a fool/I’m not a lion, I’m a man I can’t outrun the hurt they said/But I can love and love again/And you too, you too. “I have days quite often where I find myself relating to ‘Tears,’ in many different ways,” he says candidly. “I have something that means everything to me. And with that connection and devotion comes the greatest moments in my life but also some of the hardest.”
Another standout, “Creeps & Strangers” seizes a different end of the emotional spectrum, recounting a particularly chilling experience. “My girlfriend would take the bus to work every day,” he remembers. “There was this really creepy guy who would stare at her like he wanted to murder her. It was horrible. I was in Nashville thinking about this creep and how I didn’t want her to ride the bus anymore. That idea eventually evolved into something broader about people’s lives in general, the routine, and wanting to break the cycle of things you hate.”
The hauntingly beautiful “Fever” features some of his most imaginative and stinging lyrical ideas. “There are three different stories in ‘Fever.’ The first story I made up, although it’s safe to say it happens all the time. The other two stories are personal stories from my life,” he explains. “Getting these stories out in these songs is a huge release for me. When I sing that song I mean every word.”
The Tragic Thrills sought out producer Jason Lehning for his fingerprint aesthetic of sleek poise and unvarnished expressiveness. “Jason was everything I needed. He was the perfect balance of challenging me and letting me do my thing to capture an emotion,” explains Porter.
“The whole time I was making the record there was a sense of purpose,” Porter says pensively, thinking back. “It felt like it was exactly what I should be doing. That sense of purpose gets me through everything.”
Lee DeWyze launched the pivotal stage of what was already a high-profile musical career with his Vanguard Records debut – Frames, in the summer of 2013. What followed was a high-caliber list of praise from the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Yahoo Music, Rolling Stone, and dozens upon dozens more.
“I hunkered down and wrote an album,” the Chicago native explains. “I wanted to take it back to what I’m really about, which is writing emotionally charged, meaningful songs. It wasn’t like I wanted to find a label and then decide what kind of album to make. I knew what kind of album I wanted to make and knew I could make. It’s going back to the kind of music I’ve always loved. I grew up listening to Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel—folk-based acoustic music. Don’t get me wrong—my experience on the show was great. But for someone like me and the kind of music I make, that only takes you so far. It feels really good to get back to the grass roots of what I’m about. The way I see it, everything that’s happened throughout my career has happened so that I can make this record.”
The show DeWyze is referring to is American Idol, which he won in 2010. DeWyze played guitar, piano, mandolin, banjo and drums during the recording sessions, during which he collaborated with renowned producer/songwriters Toby Gad, Drew Pearson, Matthew Wilder and Phil Allen, as well as mixer extraordinaire Jim Scott. “I’ve never felt a connection with my music, more than I do right now,” DeWyze says, making no effort to hide his excitement. “It’s a very real thing, and it feels right.”
Frames garnered many licenses and syncs and proved that DeWyze was not only a great singer, but an extremely talented song-writer. Shows like Nashville, Reign, and Hart of Dixie all used his music, as did ESPN, and several independent films. Blue Cross Blue Shield recently used the song ‘Don’t Be Afraid” as part of their national 2014/2015 campaign.
However, the door really kicked open when Lee penned the song ‘Blackbird Song’ for The Walking Dead in March of 2014. An original song that he wrote specifically for the show itself. Blackbird Song has accumulated over 50k single unit sales, 2M collective youTube views, and is approaching 1M Spotify streams. (as of 11/24/14). The song is considered one of the top 10 syncs of the 2014 by the Music Guild Association.
In 2015, DeWyze will release an onslaught of music and video content, and continue his relentless touring here in the US and overseas.
Lee has a #1 song in Ireland called Lullaby that was recorded and performed by Ronan Keating. He also has a #3 song in Italy called Magnetic Heart recorded and performed by Marco Mengoni.
“I’m finally in the lane I belong in, and I feel like I can just go.” DeWyze says in anticipation of what he’s preparing to unleash in 2015.
Ages: 18 and up
Presented by: Majestic Live
You Might Also Like
A Valentine's Evening with Marc Broussard at Majestic
Sat, February 14
Walk the Moon at Orpheum Theater
Sun, March 29
Sun, February 15
Doors at 7:00pm
Show at 8:00pm
at The Frequency
121 W Main Street
Madison, United States