By Scott Schweinfurth
Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution (or BOTAR) are often considered an offshoot of the band Streetlight Manifesto with both groups having members in common and being headed by Tomas Kalnoky. Their only release was “Call to Arms”, an EP, back in 2001 but would never really make appearances. Last year they announced concerts in Los Angeles and New York City, but I wasn’t able to attend. Later, when I heard how amazing the shows were, I decided I was gonna jump at any chance to see them. So when they announced that they would be performing again in New York City, I got excited. Add on to that the show would be at Radio City Music Hall and that was all I needed to get my ticket as soon as they were on sale.
When I got to Radio City Music Hall I was excited, but became a little wary when I saw that the marquee read “Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution feat. Streetlight Manifesto”. I guess I understood that BOTAR didn’t really have a big enough catalog for an entire show, but I’ve been to a ton of Streetlight shows already and that wasn’t what I went to NYC for. When I got to my seat, I became excited again as there was a full orchestra set up on the stage. However, when the show started, I’m not sure if it was the mix from the sound guy or just the arrangement itself, but the opening song just sounded like Streetlight on their own. It was a little disappointing, but I enjoy listening to Streetlight Manifesto and was determined to make the best of it.
However, after a few songs, things changed. Again, I’m not sure if it was a change in the mix or just how the songs were arranged, but the orchestra was suddenly a lot more present. In fact, my favorite moments of the night were when the orchestra got the chance to play without the main band. Their opening of “A Moment of Silence” was beautiful and their opening of “Your Day Will Come”, a song that while I do enjoy I don’t really seek it out, was amazing. And the performance of “Here’s to Life”, one of the songs to actually appear on the 2001 EP, was spectacular.
At the end of the night I feel like I got the experience I was looking for, and amazing orchestral accompaniment of one of my favorite bands in an amazing venue.
I would rate this 5 out of 5 hands.