Groups Driftwood and Seth Walker hit FTC StageOne in Fairfield, Connecticut Friday, May 19, and left with quite the bang. Both acts were polished, and the energy that each group brought was high and captivating. The venue in which the show was held was small and quaint, with a smaller stage and crowd the night of the performance. The acoustics were phenomenal, and the size made the performances personal and intimate.
Seth Walker, the opening act, set the tone for the night with positive energy and dedication to his performance. Despite the small venue, front man Seth Walker and his band commanded the stage with loud presence and loud sound, their melodies washing over the entire crowd. The crowd seemed heavily interested and entertained by the music this group brought to the table. Walker referred to the crowd as “small, but mighty” between songs.
Walker was in tune with the instrumentalists he played along with, watching them solo and announcing their names and instruments after they finished. The stage presence of this group was sharp, and it kept the crowd interested. The group as a whole was highly interactive, able to talk and feed off of one another’s melodies and vibes during their set. Bassist Myles Weeks harmonized with Seth Walker on multiple songs, adding depth and flavor to the sound. Seth Walker’s set as a whole held a good amount of variety, ranging from bluesy, jazz bangers to soft, folk songs with country twang. The instrumental aspect of music is held on a high appreciation in both the Seth Walker Band and Driftwood. Walker, though a primarily jazz musician, has his fair share of folk music. The blend of tunes he chose to showcase was complimentary to Driftwood, making Walker a successful and suitable opening act.
After Walker cleared the stage, only a short period of time passed before Driftwood took the stage, sound checking their instruments and setting up their equipment. They were quick and efficient in the process, and soon enough, they were introducing themselves and performing their first song. Bassist Joey Arcuri was unable to make it that evening, and due to the sudden setback, the group was forced to change their set around. It consisted mostly of their slower tunes, but the set still featured sound variety. It was clean, polished, and performed as if there was never a set back to be had.
Violinist and vocalist Claire Byrne revealed to the crowd that the group was once a trio after addressing the absence of the groups bassist, and interacted with the crowd often throughout the night, encouraging their participation with the music being played. Byrne encouraged clapping and snapping on a number of songs, and was featured as a soloist on many numbers. Driftwood was personable, courteous to the crowd, and spoke amongst themselves naturally. The stage chemistry between the band was phenomenal, as well as the chemistry between the band and crowd.
Their music was well-rehearsed, and the intonation and dynamics of this group were amazing. Their harmonies were crisp and well-balanced with the instrumentals. Dan Forsyth and Joe Kollar were attentive to Claire’s solo sections, and even had solos of their own. The group left the crowd smiling and singing along, even requesting an encore. Driftwood ended the evening on a high note, and those who traveled to see them play did not leave disappointed.