There is nothing quite like loud music in a small space. The Cup O' Joy Christian coffeehouse, located in downtown Green Bay, is home to live music every weekend. It's a smaller sized building, with a very intimate atmosphere whenever punk or rock bands come to town. Usually a local band opens for a larger name, as was the case when Children 18:3 came to town on Friday, May 21st.
The opening quartet, Page 2, began with three upbeat pop/rock songs to allow the crowd to begin to get excited. During these songs, they had to work through some microphone issues, but by the time the lead singer broke out an acoustic guitar, the problems were solved. The band gave a fairly talented performance, both during the faster tracks and the slower one. The bass player also sang quite a bit, and the two vocalists played nicely off of each other. There were definitely quite a few friends or long-time fans present who consistently talked back with the band, and the crowd playfully went along with them throughout the show.
Page 2 ended its set with two faster tracks. The first, aptly titled, "Be My Ione Skye," was a quirky love song about John Cusack, while the second had the audience joining in by yelling, "We were born to live!" The crowd also became quite excited when the bass player passed his instrument to a newcomer to the stage and began yelling, displaying a lighter metal sound.
When Children 18:3 took the stage, they began with the opener from their upcoming release, Rain's 'a Comin'. With a dramatic entrance to the song, singer and guitarist David Hostetter Jr. definitely accomplished making someone next to me squirm a little with his skeletal appearance and lack of blinking. They then proceeded to play the energetic rocker "Even Sleeping." Within the first minute of the song, drummer Seth Hostetter already needed to grab a replacement drumstick after flinging one over his shoulder in the intensity.
Next came "You Know We're All So Fond Of Dying," an anthem that was clearly a crowd favorite, followed by the first track released from their upcoming album, "Cover Your Eyes." Bassist and vocalist Lee Marie Hostetter then asked if any one in the audience attended their last show at the Cup. She pointed out a girl near the front, saying, "Gina was here, hey Gina. I fell off the stage on you last time, remember? I think you were standing right there too. Better watch out." Since the Hostetter siblings are from Minnesota, the following discussion with the audience about Brett Favre was expected but still amusing. They asked the audience to step forward and get cozy before they flew into "Time and Wasted Bullets."
After hearing a few audience members shout random comments at the band, David proclaimed, "I got an idea. Let's everybody trade places." Once they began to play the crowd favorite, "Homemade Valentine," the audience went crazy as everyone scrambled to get to the other end of the room without falling over.
To give the audience time to breathe again, they began a slower track, "Samantha," and the majority of those in the audience stood to attention. However, those standing near me, who recognized my name as also being the title of the track, chuckled as David hauntingly sang, "Samantha, put down the gun." In the same order as on the band's Tooth and Nail debut, "Homemade Valentine," flowed perfectly into the minute-long, "Samantha," which then continued into the energetic "Mock the Music." It was remarkable how the recorded version of every song from their self-titled album sounds nearly identical to its live version.
Another taste of the band's upcoming release was then revealed, with the powerful "Oh Bravo!" The trio then spent a few minutes being humorously ambushed by the audience, who wanted to know why they would not be performing at a local summer festival this year. To balance things out, the short and very fast paced "The Cowboy Song," from the band's Songs of Desperation EP, prompted the audience to run in a circle. A couple impressive back bends were also displayed during this song. Once again, the band jokingly chatted with the audience, discussing famous cowboys and fur trappers from the Midwest.
"Search Warrant" then gave Lee Marie a chance to best showcase her vocal talents, followed by a short, slower interlude performed solely by David. Then came another new song, "Lost So Long," which got the audience to clap enthusiastically. David then talked about his first show, and after acknowledging those in the audience who had never been to a concert before, welcomed them to a "Rock and Roll Baptism," and the band soared into the rocker, "L.C.M."
Seth was then given the opportunity to display his excellent drumming, with a start-stop-start-stop drum solo. Children 18:3's set ended with the "Balloons Reprise," which unfortunately only gave a slight taste of the band's most popular tune, "All My Balloons." After the "Two More Songs!" chants, the band returned to play an upbeat and quirky "Wheel Song," which again got the crowd to energetically run in a circle.
These siblings really do have the stage presence and live musical talent to go with their remarkable debut album. David performs rather hauntingly, while still evoking liveliness from the crowd. Lee Marie's energy can be displayed through her nonstop traipsing around the stage. Seth is obviously having a blast as he grins throughout his intense drumming. On top of this, they bring music that few bands can compete with. Children 18:3 really is a show that no one should miss.-- Samantha Schaumberg, 5/23/10
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