Social Repose made a stop in Rochester on November 2nd as he was making his way to Toronto to join some friends for a month-long tour. The artist/musician with a penchant for goth performed an hour-long electronic pop set on the stage of the historic Harmony House Ballroom.
As we entered the hall, we spotted Social Repose signing autographs and taking pictures with fans between opening acts. He wore his trademark feathered headdress and wings – all black, of course. It’s a look instantly recognized by anyone who has seen his YouTube Channel, which has attracted nearly three quarters of a million subscribers. Over the past five years, he has used YouTube to post hundreds of videos featuring original songs, a cappella covers, comedic skits, and performance art.
In fact, watching him and his crew set up the stage, I felt like I was witnessing a live art installation. Multiple light towers stood behind a DJ Booth featuring a dream-catcher logo. He launched the evening with “I Can’t Sleep,” an ode to insomnia with digital tick-tock beat. A light show was timed to the rhythms, and the back-lighting emphasized the silhouette of Social Repose’s figure in full regalia as he dominated the stage.
The local scene turned out, wearing T-shirts from alternative bands and beanie hats over vibrant hair colors. We jumped, clapped and sang along. At one point, when Social Repose thought the crowd was a little too cheerful for the mood of a particular song, he brought us down by reminding everyone that My Chemical Romance has broken up and will never re-unite.
He sang a handful of fan favorites, and even threw in a cover of a Twenty-One Pilots song. The highlight of the evening was “Filthy Pride,” the new single released on Halloween, just three days prior to the show. A warped music-box melody augments the heart-wrenching lyrics: “I should’ve known a little better / Good things never last forever / My heart in repose / I need you the most.” Winding things down, Social Repose pulled out a ukulele for “If You’re Thinking of Leaving, You Should.” This emo ballad is about setting a loved one free while yearning for her return.
The sentiment echoed as we all parted at the end of the evening, hoping that Social Repose will make his way back to our city again someday.
Social Repose is the stage persona of Richie Giese, a 24-year old who resides in the vicinity of Washington, DC. He can be found on multiple social media platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. His music is available for purchase through iTunes and Google Play.
The day after this performance, he joined fellow musicians Say We Can Fly and Johnnie Guilbert for the Something Before Christmas Tour. Shows are listed as open to all ages.
Something Before Christmas Tour dates:
November 3 Toronto, ON Hard Luck Bar
November 4 Philadelphia, PA Voltage Lounge
November 5 Cambridge, MA Middle East Downstairs
November 6 New York, NY Webster Hall
November 7 Kittanning, PA Radioactive Events Center
November 8 Lakewood, OH The Foundry Concert Club
November 9 Pontiac, MI The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom
November 10 Columbus, OH Park Street Saloon
November 11 Chicago, IL Reggies Rock Saloon
November 12 Burnsville, MN The Garage
November 13 Saint Louis, MO Fubar
November 15 Denver, CO Moon Room @ Summit Music Hall
November 16 Salt Lake City, UT Billboard – live
November 18 Orangevale, CA The Boardwalk
November 19 Van Nuys, CA White Oak Music
November 20 Anaheim, CA Chain Reaction
November 22 Mesa, AZ Nile Theatre
November 23 Albuquerque, NM Blu Phoenix
November 25 San Antonio, TX Korova
November 26 Fort Worth, TX Tomcats
November 27 Houston, TX Scout Bar
November 29 Orlando, FL Backbooth
November 30 Saint Petersburg, FL Local 662
December 1 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
December 2 Nashville, TN Rocketown
December 3 Greensboro, NC Arizona Pete’s
December 4 Freehold, NJ GameChanger World
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